16:54 GMT05 March 2021
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    Two Russian men pranked the The New York Times by giving a US journalist an interview posing as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech as he attends the 12th Yalta European Strategy Annual Meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, September 11, 2015
    © REUTERS / Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/Pool
    Russian prankers, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, more commondly known as Vovan and Lexus, spoke with The New York Times journalist Carol Giacomo pretending to be Petro Poroshenko.

    The prankers spoke with the journalist about the president’s business and his involvement in the recent Panama Papers leak. They assured The New York Times that Poroshenko is a law-abiding citizen who always pays all of his taxes and cares for his country.

    Kuznetsov and Stolyarov went even further when after the interview they called The New York Times back and said the interview, in fact, wasn’t done with Poroshenko, but with a phony who wanted to discredit the newspaper for its recent article which called Ukraine a “corrupt swamp.”

    In other words, the prankers fooled The New York Times again, this time simultaneously discrediting Poroshenko’s administration.

    A couple of weeks ago, the New York Times published an article where it called Ukraine a "corrupt swamp" which could no longer be fed by Western money, and Kiev could not expect more aid unless serious reforms were implemented in the country. The publication also portrayed Poroshenko as accepting corruption as the price to pay for his time in office.

    Earlier today, Poroshenko’s official spokesman Svyatoslav Tsegolko accused Russian intelligence services of trying to forge an interview with the US newspaper pretending to be the Ukrainian president.

    "Russian intelligence services continue the hybrid war against Ukraine with the help of a fake letterhead, they tried to arrange an interview with American newspaper The New York Times, on behalf of the President of Ukraine," Svyatoslav Tsegolko said on his Facebook page late Tuesday.

    Kuznetsov and Stolyarov are two guys who became famous on the Internet in Russia for setting up often funny pranks against various people.


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