Among the victims were parliamentarians from Estonia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom and Latvia. They were contacted via email by people pretending to be members of the immediate circle of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is currently in a Russian prison, according to The Guardian.
Estonian MP Rehards Coles ended up in a short video chat with a man impersonating Russian politician Leonid Volkov, a member of Navalny’s political party. Kols uploaded a screenshot of their Twitter chat. Volkov surprised himself: “This looks like my real face, but how did they use it on the Zoom call?”
Volkov wrote in a Facebook post that he says two “Kremlin-backed” hoaxes, Lexus and Vovan, are behind the mock meetings. They are said to have contacted European politicians before and pretended to be Volkov.
“They will not broadcast the part of the conversation where I call Putin a murderer and a thief,” chirp Tom Togendhat, a British politician was also approached by someone who pretended to be a close confidant of Navalny. “The Kremlin is so afraid of Navalny that they are now holding mock meetings to discredit his team.”
Navalny is in the hospital
Alexei Navalny was convicted of fraud in what is viewed internationally as a show trial in February, after which he was sent to a criminal camp. He has been on hunger strike for several weeks because he is not receiving adequate medical treatment in prison. A few days earlier, Navalny was taken to the prisoners’ hospital because he was said to be in danger of his life.