Pranksters Vovan and Lexus have struck again, this time targeting former US President George W. Bush. A tweet posted Tuesday on Vovan’s Twitter account features a preview mash-up of a conversation expected to be released in full later this week.
“I wanted Ukraine into NATO”, Bush says in one excerpt.
“I thought for a while Russia would be more cooperative. And then Putin changed dramatically”, the 43rd president says in another clip.
In yet another clip, the former president says “Slava Vovan and Lexus [‘Glory to Vovan and Lexus’]”, and says he’s very “proud” of them.
The full interview is set to come out on Thursday.
Vovan and Lexus’ YouTube channel was blocked
in late March after the duo posted intimate conversations with
UK Defence Chief Ben Wallace and
Home Secretary Priti Patel while posing as Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. The interviews featured a number of "how the sausage is made" insights on matters ranging from the extent of covert UK support for Ukraine, to the possibility of seizing property of Russian tycoons in Britain and handing it over to members of the Ukrainian political elite, including President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Kuznetsov and Stolyarov got their start in the early 2010s pranking Russian and Belarusian politicians and officials. In late 2014, amid the escalation of tensions between the West and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, the telephone pranksters began speaking with Western leaders, ranging from the late US Senator John McCain and Senator Bernie Sanders to representatives Adam Schiff, Maxine Waters, and Tulsi Gabbard, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Kamala Harris, US National Endowment for Democracy head Carl Gershman, and many others. Celebrities and other public figures, such as Prince Harry, Elton John, and Morgan Freeman, also got pranked during this time.
The interviews have allowed people around the world to get an under-the-hood view of politicians’ views, to see whether what they say in public matches up with their private conversations. In their February 2017 discussion with McCain, for example, the pranksters learned that the senator planned to sabotage
Donald Trump’s early opposition to ruining relations with Russia by pushing sanctions and more weapons assistance to Ukraine. Gabbard, meanwhile, told them
that Hillary Clinton was alarmed by the congresswoman’s stance of “speaking the truth about the costs and the consequences” of Mrs Clinton’s US foreign policy, and by neoliberal leaders’ inability to buy the Hawaii politician’s loyalty.