Meloni falls for Russian comedians’ prank call

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has fallen victim to a prank call from Russia. The callers posed as the President of the African Union (AU) and President of the Comoros, Azali Assoumani. The discussion during the call focused on "fatigue on all sides" in the war against Ukraine. The call was made by the renowned Russian comedian duo Vovam and Lexus. The Italian press is incensed.

La Repubblica (IT) /

Major loss of trust

For La Repubblica, this is no laughing matter:

“Unfortunately, this is very serious indeed. For it is pretty revealing about the personality and attitude of Giorgia Meloni and leaves a devastating impression of those who were supposed to protect her from malicious attacks. .... From tomorrow on, what foreign head of state or government will be willing to share information or deliberations of any kind with Giorgia Meloni, knowing that Vovan and Lexus were able to fool our prime minister and her staff like this? Being buried in ridicule is a wake-up call for every politician — or at least it should be.”

Carlo Bonini
La Stampa (IT) /

A way out of what fatigue?

La Stampa is outraged by the content of the phone call:

“Is there really a sense of ‘fatigue’ which could offer a ‘way out’? ... If by ‘fatigue’ we mean the declining willingness of Western countries to support Ukraine politically, economically and militarily, and if there is supposed to be a ‘way out’ of this ‘fatigue’, then one must ask why we have supported Kyiv this long. It would be paradoxical, if not immoral, if the decision to send weapons to Ukraine was not made out of conviction but determined by other political considerations, such as confirming the credibility of the government’s pro-Western stance, which was viewed with scepticism by Washington and EU law firms particularly in the first months of its existence.”

Nathalie Tocci