Russian Phone Pranksters Troll Elton John Into Thinking He Spoke With Putin

Not cool, comrades, not cool.

Life in Russia is pretty tough for gay folks. In June 2015, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that banned “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” This situation has pissed off many high-profile celebs with an interest in LGBTQ issues, notably music legend Sir Elton John.

So the superstar was super pleased when he received a phone call from no less than Putin himself to discuss the issue. He made it a point to post a shot of Putin giving his best пришел сюда (come hither) look on Instagram, celebrating the outreach.

A photo posted by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on

Sep 14, 2015 at 8:11am PDT

Sadly, a couple of Russian pranksters revealed today that they were simply trolling Sir Elton. Wednesday RT reported “phone pranksters Vladimir Krasnov and Aleksey Stolyarov, aka Vovan and Lexus, claimed it was them who had the conversation with Sir Elton, with Vovan posing as Putin and Lexus.”

Stolyarov—or Lexus—speaks English, reported RT. It was he who portrayed Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov and translated  as Krasnov, or Vovan, pretended he was Putin. RT cited another interview with the pair in which they said they “just wanted to make Elton John happy.” 

While the pranksters assumed Putin would never deign to speak to rock royalty like Sir Elton, the real Dmitry Peskov gave a statement indicating he thought the pair should apologize to the rocker. “I would recommend them to offer apologies to Elton John,” Peskov said to members of the media, “he is a singer who’s respected and loved by the Russian audience. It was not good to hoax him like that.” 

Meanwhile, we like to think Putin is traveling to one of his secret hideouts, petting a tranquilized tiger and contemplating appropriate revenge against the duo for any embarrassment they may have caused him.

Photos by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images