J.K. Rowling recently hopped on a Zoom call with who she thought was Ukrainian President Zelensky but instead, she got Russian pranksters.

Author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling recently got on a Zoom call thinking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would be picking up. Instead, she got Russian prankster duo Vovan and Lexus. This was first picked up by The Rowling Library, which found the video on RuTube, a Russian social media site similar to Youtube. The duo has an array of high-profile individuals that have fallen for their pranks including Elton John, Prince Harry, Billie Eilish, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and George W. Bush.

The jokesters were clearly trying to make a point about the influence of Western media when it comes to the war in Ukraine— talking with a sarcasm that was laced with righteous indignation. They talked as if nobody dies in war, painted Russian troops as brave fodder for Ukrainian missiles, and goaded Rowling further and further into admissions of financial irresponsibility when it came to her donations to Ukraine.

The ironic part is their apparent lack of awareness in the part Russian media has had in molding their own opinions— parroting the popular Putin point that the invasion of Ukraine is to cleanse Nazis from the country, “We read Harry Potter to the [Ukrainian] soldiers in the battalion. They like to read a lot, especially German literature, just don’t read them passages about half breeds, they are nationalists and do not like such people,” the pranksters said. While there were certainly nationalist military forces present within Ukraine, their involvement was vastly overstated as part of the justification for an invasion.

Rowling rolled her eyes at first then laughed, nodded her head, and said, “Understood,” in response.

Rowling seemed to be in a daze throughout the majority of the conversation, making vague shrugs to many of their statements and acting overly agreeable during moments where she appeared confused or shocked. Although many of Vovan and Lexus’ points regarding the war and its cause were far from reality, they did use their satire to showcase the unconscious flow of heavy arms into Ukraine. The concern with the staggering amount of weaponry coming into Ukraine is that major contributors such as the U.S. aren’t even sure where they’re going. The military-industrial complex of America was thirsty for another war after the country pulled out of Afgan, and Ukraine happened to be the perfect area for the MIC to inundate with “lethal aid.”

“I want to clarify where you are sending the money that Lumos has collected … we want to buy a lot of weapons and missiles with your money to destroy Russian troops, I hope you are all for that,” the two jested.

Love Film & TV?

Get the latest Film & TV news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

Rowling replied, “We’ll look after the kids but I really want Ukraine to have all of the arms it needs.”

The pair also jested that the Ukrainian troops write “Avada Kadabra” on their missiles before firing them at Russian troops, which is a forbidden curse in the Harry Potter universe that causes instant death. In response, J.K. Rowling said, “I love the joke,” although the prankster did seem to try to force a response out of her.

One of the final pranks the two pulled on her was a cheeky jab at her TERF or Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist ideologies, pressing Rowling about whether Dumbledore is truly gay or not and then talking about how they hoped he didn’t have any relationships with transgender people. Joanne seemed to like the last bit and got a kick out of it without realizing the satire being employed against her.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine