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VIDEO: Fed’s Powell caught in Russian prank call with fake Zelensky

Powell caught in Russian prank call with fake Zelensky: Video revealed
Source: Video Screenshot

The Russian state television recently aired a prank video showing the Federal Reserve Chairman, Jerome Powell, having a conversation with two Russian pranksters who pretended to be Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, Bloomberg reported.

Video of prank call shows Powell discussing inflation with Russian pranksters posing as Volodymyr Zelensky

In the video, Powell seemed to believe he was speaking to Zelensky and responded to inquiries about various topics such as the possibility of inflation and the Russian central bank.

“Chair Powell participated in a conversation in January with someone who misrepresented himself as the Ukrainian president,” a Fed spokesperson stated on Thursday.

“It was a friendly conversation and took place in a context of our standing in support of the Ukrainian people in this challenging time. No sensitive or confidential information was discussed.”

“The matter has been referred to appropriate law enforcement, and out of respect for their efforts, we won’t be commenting further,” the representative added.

The Federal Reserve has also mentioned that the video seems to be edited and they are unable to verify its accuracy. The incident of the prank call reaching Powell raises concerns about the security of the Fed.

Although the comments made by Powell during the call were not controversial, the success of the prank call may lead to questions about the Fed’s ability to prevent such incidents.

Russian pranksters with ties to Putin embarrass Western policymakers, including ECB chief and former German Chancellor Merkel

The pranksters, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov (also known as Vovan and Lexus), have a history of successfully tricking foreign politicians, despite their crude impersonations. They are supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and often aim to embarrass Western policymakers, according to Bloomberg.

In the past, the UK believed the Kremlin was involved in a prank call made to Boris Johnson, who was then the Foreign Secretary. The duo recently shared a video of a conversation they had with European Central Bank chief, Christine Lagarde, where they impersonated Zelenskiy.

“The President agreed to this conversation in good faith, also to demonstrate her support for Ukraine and its people defending themselves from Russia’s war of aggression,” an ECB spokesperson said.

In addition to the incidents mentioned earlier, the duo also had a conversation with Angela Merkel, Germany’s former chancellor, while pretending to be former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Although Merkel seemed doubtful during the call, she did not confront the callers about their true identities.

Furthermore, the pranksters also managed to trick Polish President Andrzej Duda into believing that he was talking to Emmanuel Macron, the French President, last year.

About the author

Brendan Byrne

While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala.

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