The two Russian comedians, who claimed responsibility for the fake video broadcasts with European mayors, say they work for an Internet platform that belongs to the Russian state-owned company Gazprom.

According to ARD information, they admitted in an interview that they were financed by the Rutube platform, a Russian copy of YouTube. “We work for Rutube and are Rutube ambassadors. So we get our money from there,” Alexei Stoljarow, alias Lexus, told the ARD magazine “Contrasts”. Since 2008, Rutube has belonged to Gazprom-Media – a media group founded by Russia’s state-owned company Gazprom.

In the last week of June, Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) spoke via video with a person who looked like Kiev mayor Vitali Klitschko, but was not Klitschko. After a while, she had doubts about various questions from her counterpart. The conversation then ended prematurely.