YouTube Blocks Channel of Russian Pranksters Vovan & Lexus After Spoof Calls With UK Ministers
06:54 GMT 26.03.2022 (Updated: 09:15 GMT 26.03.2022)
Vovan and Lexus have become famous all over the world for their pranks on celebrities and politicians, including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, US special envoy Nikki Haley, Senator John McCain, congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ukrainian presidents Petro Poroshenko and Volodymyr Zelensky, and many others.
The YouTube channel of iconic Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus (Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov) was blocked on Saturday. Vovan has confirmed that the platform blocked the channel, saying that YouTube cited a "violation of community rules". He also added a link to their clips on the video hosting site RuTube
The channel was removed soon after the pranksters published videos of their conversations with British Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel
, pretending to be Ukrainian PM Denis Shmygal.
During the call with Wallace, the UK minister spilled the beans about arms deliveries to Ukraine
and London's support for "Kiev's plans" to continue with a nuclear programme.
Meanwhile, Patel shared plans to deprive Russian tycoons of their property in the country and promised to keep allies in line, regarding support for Kiev.
The minister was also trolled into saying various phrases, including "Anglichanka gadit!", a Russian colloquialism meaning "the Englishwoman makes mischief" or "the Englishwoman plays it dirty", a reference
to the 19th-century foreign policy of Queen Victoria against Russia.
After the clip of his conversation was published, Wallace claimed the video was "doctored" by the Russian state.
At the same time, the British Ministry of Defence urged the platform to remove the videos.
"We are calling on YouTube to help us support Ukraine by taking down videos doctored by the Russian state and disseminated to try and sap the morale of a people fighting for their freedom", the MoD said on Twitter.
YouTube removed the channel of Vovan and Lexus amid reports suggesting that the platform may be blocked in Russia
, since the video hosting service has already removed multiple channels by Russian media or blocked access to them around the world. This step comes in line with anti-Russian sanctions imposed over Moscow's military operation in Ukraine.
The Russian media watchdog Roscomnadzor later slammed YouTube for allowing anti-Russian ads on the platform, which aim to discredit the Russian military and authorities.
"Similar actions by Meta Platforms Inc. and Google LLC not only violate Russian law but also contradict generally accepted norms of morality", Roskomnadzor said.
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