Namely, Vovan and Lexus called King and pretended to be Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi, asking a series of questions that, given the situation, were impossible to answer without stepping into the bucket.
In summary, the pranksters invited King to fight in Ukraine, asked him for a film role on Zelensky's behalf, and set a trap for him by asking him for his opinion on Stepan Bandera, the once controversial leader of Ukrainian nationalists.
Some Ukrainians consider Bandera a national hero because he fought against both the Germans and the Russians and declared Ukraine's independence in 1941. On the other hand, his political movement is associated with the mass murder of Poles and Jews. So he is a character that is at least risky to express an opinion about.
Liba-Zelenskõi described Bandera as a national hero who "also had some sins in his soul, but not very big sins". King replied: “You can find something bad about everyone. Washington and Jefferson were slaveholders, but that doesn't mean they didn't do important things for the United States. People always have their faults. We are human and we make bad decisions and then we make good decisions. All in all, I think Bandera was a great man."
When the hoax came out, Stephen King said he was very embarrassed.
“It turns out I got a lump. I had no idea who this Bandera guy was. So, I'm embarrassed. But it turns out I'm not the only one. For example, JK Rowling, Prince Harry and Justin Trudeau have also fallen victim to these types," he wrote on Twitter.
Vovan and Lexus call celebrities of Western origin and engage them with political issues. Their choice of topic was hardly accidental, given that after the Russian invasion, they have repeatedly interfered in Ukraine's foreign relations and defense policy by impersonating Ukrainian politicians. In March, they made a speech to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, for which they were banned from broadcasting on YouTube. The UK Ministry of Defense also demanded that all content produced by them be removed from Youtube.
"For some reason, their jokes always serve the interests of the Russian authorities," the Latvian media publication Meduza commented on their activities. Broadly speaking, they seem to be trying to prove that people in the West approach Ukraine uncritically.