No10 blames Russia for hoax calls to UK ministers

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The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “The Russian state was responsible for the hoax telephone calls made to UK ministers last week…reports Asian Lite News

The Downing Street has said that Moscow was behind calls to British defence secretary and home secretary last week, The Guardian reported.

The Russian state was responsible for hoax calls to Ben Wallace and Priti Patel, pretending to be the Ukrainian Prime Minister, Downing Street has said.

In its first statement attributing blame for the video calls, the Downing Street said it believed Russian state actors were responsible, without giving more details at to who linked to the Kremlin had been identified as being behind the attempts.

It is understood that there are fears in the Whitehall that Russia could release doctored quotes of their comments for propaganda purposes. Nadine Dorries, the culture secretary, was also unsuccessfully targeted, The Guardian reported.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “The Russian state was responsible for the hoax telephone calls made to UK ministers last week.

  “This is standard practice for Russian information operations and disinformation is a tactic straight from the Kremlin playbook to try to distract from their illegal activities in Ukraine and the human rights abuses being committed there.”

  Defence secretary Wallace has publicly acknowledged that he had been targeted shortly after his call on Thursday in an attempt to get ahead of any attempt by Moscow to circulate footage from it.

  An investigation has been launched into how it happened and a cross-Whitehall review is looking at tightening security procedures further.

  The caller who got through to Wallace was pretending to be Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

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