On Monday, Sir Elton John gleefully announced on Instagram that Russian President Vladimir Putin called him to discuss LGBT rights in Russia. However, it turned out that he was savagely trolled by two famous Russian pranksters.
The British singer, who spoke at the Yes conference in Kyiv, Ukraine last week, had criticized Putin for the anti-gay laws that were enforced in his tenure, and asked for a face-to-face meeting with him to discuss the issue.
Then after the supposed phone call from Putin, John posted a photo of the president on Instagram along with this caption, ‘Thank you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look to forward to meet with you [sic] face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia.’
Not long after the post went up, a Kremlin spokesperson denied that such a call took place. John’s camp kept insisting that it indeed took place until Wednesday, when two Russian pranksters claimed responsibility for it, reports NBC News.
The pranksters, Vladimir Krasnov and his partner Alexei Stolyanov, also posted the call audio on YouTube, which you can listen to below.
The Kremlin has condemned the prank call as ‘not nice.’ John, on his own part, responded to the prank by posting a bloody photo with the caption, ‘Pranks are funny. Homophobia, however, is never funny. I love Russia and my offer to talk to President Putin about LGBT rights still stands. I will always stand up for those that are being degraded and discriminated against. If this unfortunate incident has helped push this vital issue back into the spotlight, then I am happy to be pranked on this occasion.’