The president’s office said in a Twitter post on Tuesday that Duda realized because of “the unusual way” the conversation took place that it was likely a hoax and hung up. The “relevant services”, according to his office, immediately took steps to explain the incident. Duda made numerous phone calls during the tense hours following the missile strike that sparked fears of significant escalation between NATO allies and Russia.
Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti said a few Russians known for defrauding Western leaders — including US politicians and former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson — were responsible and posted video of the conversation. In the seven-minute clip, Duda can be heard telling a man posing as Macron that he was extra careful not to blame Moscow for the incident, as he does not want war with Russia.
US and Polish authorities later attributed the blast to Ukrainian air defenses targeting a Russian missile. Earlier that day, the Kremlin had launched the largest attack on power infrastructure and other targets across Ukraine since its invasion in February.
It is not the first hoax of this kind for the Polish president. In 2020, Duda was led to believe by Russian pranksters that he was talking to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.