Vladimir Kuznetsov (vovan) and Aleksey Stoylarov (Lexus) are the two Russian “comedians” well known to the world.
Having this argument in mind, there is a logical question, is performing of such “actions” something that may destabilize other countries, in the particular case the Republic of North Macedonia?
Additionaly, in an interview for The Guardian, the so called comedians state that they will never prank Putin, and that they do not want to harm their country, emphasizing that they would not do anything that would help the enemies of Russia.
The question that arises is, if the so called comedians consider North Macedonia as enemy of Russia?
All of their “actions” have on common pattern, that is mocking their victims as primary and mocking the system and the institutions (but not from their own country) as secondary. This approach incites mistrust in the politicians and institutions. Both, undoubtedly are the basis for disinformation and Russian propaganda, topics that were covered by the F2N2 team in several attempts.
Their pranks consists of phone calls to celebrities from different spheres, having themselves presenting as celebrities as well. Target group for their pranks are people from the high politics that are not on the same frequency with Kremlin. By presenting themselves as Vladimir Putin, Petro Poroshenko, Arsenij Petrovich Jacenjuk and others, easily, and sometimes unintentionaly, trusted information can be disclosed.
The list of persons that were “played” by these Russian “comedians” is long and with pretty sound names like Elton John, the President of Turkey Rexhep Taip Erdoghan, Belarus President Aleksandar Lukashenko, the former Chief of the British diplomacy Boris Johnson, the US politician Maxine Waters, the US diplomat Nikki Haley, the former Minister of Defense of Spain Maria Dolores, The Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg, the former President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovich, the US politician John McCain, the former Prime minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj, The President of France Emanuel Macron, Federika Mogherini and Jean Claude Juncker, and the most recent on the list Zoran Zaev.
The way they manage to obtain the phone numbers of their victims remains enigma, considering their positions and the offices they hold. Their response to this query is that they manage to obtain the numbers on their own or through their friends. Yet, who are the “friends” remains unknown.
It is a question whether these are “comedians” or agents of the Russian Intelligence, hidden under the masks of satire?
While listening to some of the audio/video recordings published on their YouTube channel, it is clear that the conversation with Jens Stoltenberg and the one with Zoran Zaev contain same segments. Namely, in the recording of Zoran Zaev the real voice of Jens Stoltenberg is used, which is actually part of the conversation that the Russian “comedians” conducted with Jens Stoltenberg in February 2017, and framed in the video/audio with Zoran Zaev. The confirmation that it is the same fragment in both video/audio, can be found by listening the conversation that was conducted with Zoran Zaev at 20:30sec and the 10sec of the conversation led with Jens Stoltenberg.
These actions can be defined as attempts to harm the states that have Euro-Atlantic aspirations. It is obvious that the more certain North Macedonia entrance to NATO is, the more the Kremlin is uncomfortable, so such attacks should not come as a surprise.