JK Rowling has been the victim of a “disgusting” prank by Russian scammers who convinced the Harry Potter author that she was talking to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy over Zoom.
Eastern European nations have been at war for four months since Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordered a “strategic military operation” into Ukraine and aggressively sought to seize strategically important cities, including the capital Kyiv.
The fighting has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Ukrainian civilians and soldiers, with BBC News reporting the number is up to 200 soldiers daily.
Video of Russian duo Vovan and Lexus speaking to Rowling as President of Ukraine over an audio-only Zoom call was first spotted by The Rowling Library on Wednesday (June 23). It appears that Rowling, who kept her video on, didn’t realize she was being recorded.
During the 12-minute, increasingly awkward call, the Zelensky impersonators asked Rowling about the imposition of sanctions on Russian actor Aleksandr Kuznetsov, who appeared in the recent one Fantastic Beasts Movie as Helmut.
While taking notes, Rowling replied, “Fantastic Beasts was a very interesting experience. I will definitely speak to people and see what we can do.”
Next, Vovan and Lexus informed Rowling that Harry Potter’s lightning bolt scar resembles the symbol used by Russians on their military vehicles and asked her if it could be changed to the Ukrainian trident instead.
“I’ll look into it. It might be good for me to do something with it on social media myself because I think it’ll get in the papers,” she replied in the video.
During the prank call, they told Rowling that they were going to write “Avada Kedavra” (the killing curse Voldemort used against Harry Potter in the books) on Ukrainian rockets, asked if Dumbledore was really gay and who he had slept with, and inquired also by Boris Johnson’s gender.
The prank happened as the duo turned on their camera to introduce “The Order of the Ukrainian Phoenix,” only to reveal a group of people wearing t-shirts that read “Putin only!” in Russian.
A spokesman for Rowling slammed the “disgusting” prank call in a statementThe Hollywood Reporter.
They said: “JK Rowling was approached to discuss her extensive community service work in Ukraine supporting children and families affected by the current conflict in the region. The edited video is a distorted representation of the conversation.”
There is speculation that Rowling was targeted by the duo – believed to be Russian state figures – for their support of Ukraine.
Earlier this year, Rowling announced she would match donations of up to £1million after her Lumos foundation launched an emergency appeal to help children trapped in orphanages in Ukraine.
At one point in the video, the Russian comedy actors asked Rowling to “clarify where you are sending the money Lumos has raised,” adding that “we want to use your money to buy a lot of weapons and missiles to help Russian troops.” destroy”.
“I hope you’re all for it,” they continued, still as Zelenskyy, prompting Rowling to reply, “We take care of the children, but I really want Ukraine to have all the weapons it needs.” “
In March, YouTube pulled video clips of Vovan and Lexus’ prank calls with Defense Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
The tech giant later suspended the vovan222pranks account that published the clips as part of its investigation into “Russia-related influence operations” after days of pressure to block the clips.
Other high-profile prank victims from Vovan and Lexus include past and present US politicians, including current US Vice President Kamala Harris and former President George W. Bush, Sir Elton John, Billie Eilish and Prince Harry.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/jk-rowling-russian-prank-zelensky-b2108367.html JK Rowling falls victim to ‘disgusting’ prank by Russians posing as Ukraine’s Zelensky