John was fooled into a fake conversation with the Russian president by two phone pranksters
Elton John agreed to attend a gay pride march in Moscow during a hoax call, in which he believed he was speaking to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
At the start of the week, John revealed on social media that he had spoken with Putin to discuss LGBT rights in Russia. However, the Kremlin denied any knowledge of the conversation.
Two famous Russian phone pranksters then revealed they had been behind the calll, with the full audio later appearing online after it was broadcast by the pair on a late-night Russian TV show.
As reported by The Guardian, Vladimir Krasnov played Putin while Alexei Stolyarov played the president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, acting as a translator during the hoax.
At the start of the call, John expressed his gratitude for an opportunity to talk with Putin.
“Tell him I’m extremely honoured that he’s calling me and that I’m speaking to him. It’s a great privilege to be able to speak to one of the most influential people in the whole world. It’s amazing.”
Throughout the call, Elton John raises his concerns about the difficulties faced by the LGBT community in Russia, but avoids going in to great detail, instead pushing for a face to face meeting with the Russian president.
“My position in life is that people who are gay should be included in all walks of life and be given basic freedom,” John says. “I do not want to get mixed up in a political dialogue. I’m not a politician. I want to talk on a humanitarian basis to the president face to face.”
Acting as a translator during the call, Dmitry Peskov confirms a meeting will be arranged for the middle of November and asks John whether he will attend a gay pride march in Moscow at the same time.
“If he wants me to come to gay pride in Moscow, yes I’ll come to gay pride in Moscow,” John replies.
Clearly moved by the call, John concludes, “Please thank him for his time. And tell him he’s made my day, OK. It’s a very wonderful moment in my life, thank you.”
Listen to the hoax call below: