Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is the latest world leader to get caught out in a prank by Russian comedy duo and hoaxers Vovan and Lexus.

Vovan and Lexus, real names Vladimir Aleksandrovich Kuznetso and Aleksei Vladimirovich Stolyarov, published their video “Prank with Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar” on the platform Rumble on Tuesday, December 19.

The pro-Kremlin hoaxers reportedly posed as African diplomats for the call that occurred on an unspecified date.

In the nearly 14-minute video, which a spokesperson for the Taoiseach has since claimed has been “doctored and overdubbed,” the Taoiseach purportedly discusses a range of topics, including Ukrainian refugees, the Russia - Ukraine war, the possibility of Ireland joining NATO, as well as Irish unification.

In one particularly bizarre bit, the caller, who has a heavy accent, remarks: “I see that you also had some problems with the UK and with Northern Ireland and this is why some politicians are still blaming that Ukraine also tries to supply weapons to Ireland’s Republican Army."

Varadkar replied: “That’s new to me. I haven’t heard that.

"The Irish Republican Army [IRA] ended its military action in 1997 and then gave up its weapons."

Later, ending the call, the hoaxer tells Varadkar: “Say hello to your leprechauns."

According to the Business Post on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Varadkar said: “Earlier this year the Taoiseach took part in a virtual meeting on the understanding that it was with a representative of the African Union Commission. 

“The Taoiseach ended the call early due to suspicions about its nature and the manner in which it was conducted. 

“It transpired to be a sophisticated deep-fake.

“The material that has now been released has evidently been doctored and overdubbed in heavily-accented English, and does not represent what actually took place on the call.”

The spokesman said that the Irish government has since notified the Irish embassy in Addis Ababa, the African Union Commission, and the National Cyber Security Centre."

The spokesperson added: “We are aware that the Taoiseach is not the only European leader targeted by a sophisticated deep-fake in this manner."

Indeed, the duo released videos this year pranking Prime Minister of Norway Jonas Gahr Store, President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde, German Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, and Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez.

They also published a video earlier in 2023 with the Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy.

You can watch the “Prank with Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar" video, which has been described as a "sophisticated deep-fake," here: