The alleged video interview of Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) with a fake Vitali Klitschko made enormous waves just a few days ago. Initially, it was assumed that it was a well-made deep fake. In the meantime, however, a Russian comedian duo has claimed responsibility for the prank.
Interview with fake Vitali Klitschko: Russian comedians are behind it
As reported by dpa, the Russian comedian duo Vovan and Lexus are behind the video interview conducted by Berlin’s Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) with a supposed Vitali Klitschko a few days ago.
Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, as the duo’s real names are, have confessed to their prank to various media. On a Russian video portal, the duo would soon reveal more about the background and the execution.
However, Stolyarov confirmed that there were no political motives behind the prank when asked by the ARD magazine Kontraste. One does not want to betray topically yet, how one it angestellt, but “it was easy,” so the comedian in a telephone call with the editorship.
This would also explain why the interview was conducted last Friday in Russian and then translated. Vitali Klitschko himself told the Bild newspaper that he could easily conduct conversations in German or English in the respective language himself.
Vovan and Lexus are known for fakes
The Russian comedy duo, meanwhile, have been making a name for themselves for years for their prank phone calls in which they pretended to be celebrities or politicians. In 2015, they made a phone call to musician Elton John, where they pretended to be Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in an effort to improve gay rights in Russia.
Most recently, they held a call with Harry Potter author Joanne K. Rowling as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj to discuss Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine in a Zoom call.
- Sanctions on Russia: Microsoft takes Windows downloads offline in Russia
State Security of the LKA investigates
How the manipulation of the video interview was technically possible is currently unknown. Meanwhile, the State Protection of the State Criminal Police Office has taken up the investigation and is trying to clarify the background of the incident.
However, since there is no recording of the interview, it will be difficult to determine the technology behind it.
However, the comedian told Kontraste that it was not a deepfake. It is possible that parts of Klitschko’s videos were simply cut together in order to conduct the interview. We will probably find out shortly, at least in part.