NED officials tell Russian pranksters Russia would see hard times ahead

Russian pranksters Vovan (Vladimir Kuznetsov) and Lexus (Alexei Stolyarov) made a prank call to the NED administration (the National Endowment for Democracy - an organization, the activities of which are recognised undesirable in Russia) on behalf of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, a former presidential candidate at the Belarus election and her aide. The recording of their conversation has been posted on YouTube.

NED Foundation President Karl Gershman told the pranksters that NED was closely monitoring the activities of the Russian opposition. The leader of the Russian opposition, in his opinion, is Leonid Volkov, the head of the regional headquarters of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK, included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent).

According to Gershman, the new US administration has great willingness to help the Russian opposition. At the same time, Gershman said that Russia would have to face difficult trials ahead, particularly during the upcoming parliamentary elections in September and the presidential election in 2024.

During the conversation, Gershman also said that the foundation had a very active program throughout the country. NED Vice President for Political Affairs and Strategy Barbara Haig called the program very deep and broad. She also said that the program was being implemented in Russian provinces and regions.

At the end of the conversation, the prankers turned on the recording of the voice of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. Afterwards, a man who called himself a KGB major of Belarus joined in and told the NED administration that they had the right to remain silent. After that, the pranksters were disconnected from the conversation.