Don’t say Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t have a sense of humor.
For April Fools’ Day, the Russian Foreign Ministry put out an “official joke” – a video of a proposed voice-mail message for its embassy answering machines. In the clip, recorded in Russian and English, an automated recording tells callers to press 1 for “a call from a Russian diplomat to your political opponent.” You can press 2 “to use the services of Russian hackers,” or 3 “to request election interference.”
The “pilot” message was posted on the ministry’s Facebook page, nestled between serious articles about bilateral discussions with Kyrgyzstan and daily briefings. It’s billed as something being tested for Russian embassies and consulates.
An unnamed ministry official, reached by the Associated Press, confirmed that the foreign ministry did produce the joke post. And like any good piece of political satire, the joke took aim at something serious: allegations that Russia tried to undermine the 2016 presidential election in the United States and is trying to influence votes elsewhere.