Russian Ministry Pulls April Fools’ Voicemail Joke: ‘Press 3 For Election Interference’

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Russia’s foreign ministry offered to help interfere in foreign elections in an April Fools’ Day joke published on official social media accounts Saturday.

The ministry posted a proposed voicemail message for its answering machines at Russia embassies.

“To arrange a call from a Russian diplomat to your political opponent, press 1,” the message begins. “To use the services of Russian hackers, press 2. To request election interference, press 3 and wait until the next election campaign.”

An unnamed ministry duty officer confirmed that the post was a joke to the Associated Press.

The Russian government is accused of interfering in several elections around the world, most notably the U.S. presidential election last fall. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly rejected the assertions from U.S. intelligence services as “lies” used to push a political agenda.

“All those things are fictional, illusory and provocations, lies,” Putin said Thursday at the International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk, Russia. “All these are used for domestic American political agendas. The anti-Russian card is played by different political forces inside the United States to trade on that and consolidate their positions inside.”

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