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.
The fake Klitschko speaks Russian instead of German
In the excerpts that have now been published, the picture 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 is an example of how it sounds when Kiev’s mayor, for example, on German television Word comes.
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 is no new clue as to what visual trick the comedians used to fool the mayor.
A spokeswoman of the Berlin Senate explained that the recording that has now been published does not contain any surprises. We have already reported in detail on the process and the content of the conversation. “We made the case public immediately after the video call, dealt with it very openly and transparently and got the ball rolling in the first place,” said the spokeswoman.
Russian comedians twist Giffey’s statements
Insidious or awkward statements can be heard from Franziska Giffey in the interview excerpts that have now been published not, although the pro-Putin comedians were probably aiming for exactly such quotes. For example, when Fake Klitschko asked her if 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 the rest of Germany. However, in a summary published by “Vovan and Lexus” on the Reddit platform, it is said that Giffey would confirm that there are “serious problems with the arriving refugees”. Nothing of this can be heard in the published excerpts from the conversation. The Berlin Senate Chancellery denies that Giffey made a statement to this effect in the interview.
Also in the subtitles published by the comedians for the video, Giffey was given incorrectly pointed formulations in several places.
Appearance of German pro-Kremlin influencer
The comedian duo uploaded a short version of the conversation on their channel on the Russian YouTube alternative Rutube. There, the Giffey conversation is included in a produced TV show in which the well-known German conspiracy narrator Alina Lipp also appears.
In the show of »Vovan and Lexus« Lipp apparently explained 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 influencer loyal to Putin here.)
The two satirists have had other politicians besides Giffey, 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?«
Be paid » Vovan and Lexus« from 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” .