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Franziska Giffey: Russian comedians show excerpt of conversation with fake Klitschko


Two pro-Putin satirists had pretended that Franziska Giffey was on the phone with Vitali Klitschko. Recordings that have now been published give an impression of what happened in the video call.

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Berlin's Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey: A fake Klitschko on the line

Photo: Reddit

The Russian TV entertainers Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stoljarow alias "Vovan und Lexus" posted excerpts from their call to Franziska Giffey (SPD) on Thursday.

At the end of June, the two satirists managed to conduct a 30-minute video call with the mayor of Berlin, in which they pretended to Giffey that she was speaking to the mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko.

Shortly after the conversation, the Berlin Senate Chancellery pointed out that they had become suspicious during the call and had broken off the conversation.

However, the Senate Chancellery said at the time that "apparently" a computer-generated deepfake was used, i.e. a relatively complex deception method.

There were no indications that the video conference was not held with a real person, it was initially said.

Fake Klitschko speaks Russian instead of German

In the excerpts that have now been published, the image of the fake Klitschko cannot be seen, but his voice can be heard.

In the video call with Giffey, the alleged Klitschko sounded audibly different from the original, according to the clips.

Here you can find an example of what it sounds like when Kiev's mayor has his say on German television, for example.

Klitschko usually also speaks German with German journalists and politicians, but in the video call with Giffey, the fake Klitschko spoke in Russian.

The statements by him and by Giffey are then apparently translated.

Since only Giffey himself was shown in the clips released Thursday, there's no new clue as to what visual tricks the comedians used to fool the mayor.

Russian comedians twist Giffey's remarks

Franziska Giffey does not make any insidious or clumsy statements in the excerpts of the conversation that have now been published, although the pro-Putin comedians were probably aiming for precisely such quotations.

For example, when Fake Klitschko asked her whether Berlin could help organize a "gay parade" in Kyiv, Giffey said succinctly that Berlin had a lot of experience on the subject and could give advice on how to organize it.

Elsewhere she talks about how Germany, and especially the city of Berlin, takes in refugees from the Ukraine and distributes them throughout Germany.

However, in a summary published by "Vovan and Lexus" on the Reddit platform, Giffey would confirm that there were "serious problems with the arriving refugees".

Nothing of this can be heard in the published excerpts from the conversation.

In the subtitles published by the comedians for the video, Giffey is also given incorrectly pointed formulations in several places.

Appearance of German pro-Kremlin influencer

The comedian duo uploaded a short version of the conversation to their channel on the Russian YouTube alternative Rutube.

There, the Giffey conversation is integrated into a produced TV show in which the well-known German conspiracy narrator Alina Lipp also appears.

In the "Vovan und Lexus" program, Lipp is apparently allowed to explain the situation in Germany to the Russian audience.

Lipp likes to supply her followers on Telegram with pro-Kremlin propaganda and says, for example, that the Bucha atrocities are a "staging by the Kiev regime for the Western media".

(Read more about the Putin-loyal influencer here.)

In addition to Giffey, the two satirists had already fooled other politicians such as the Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, or Boris Johnson, Justin Trudeau and EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson.

Similar to the conversation with Giffey, they asked questions that were apparently intended to put Western liberal democracies in a bad light.

»Does Europe have money for refugees?«, it was said in older publications, or also: »What dangers can lurk for Ukrainian women in the EU area?«.

Vovan and Lexus are paid for by the Rutube platform, which in turn belongs to the Russian state-owned company Gazprom.

The two comedians explained this at the beginning of July in an interview with the ARD magazine "Contrasts".

Cooperation: Anika Zeller

Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-08-11

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