A voice recording is circulating on Ukrainian traditional media and Telegram channels. It’s allegedly a recorded telephone conversation between Russian music producer Iosif Prigozhin (no relation to Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin) and billionaire and former politician Farkhad Akhmedov. Ukraine’s Channel 5 television network was among the first outlets to call attention to the recording, which was first posted on March 7. Its authenticity has not been confirmed.
During a telephone call, which lasts a bit longer than 30 minutes, the two men give their uncensored assessments of Russia’s political leadership and discuss life under sanctions.
A sample of the conversation
The voice allegedly belonging to Iosif Prigozhin says that the Russian authorities have already lost to “Kvartal 95,” a film studio co-founded by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, and that Russian president Vladimir Putin “drove himself” into a “shithole.” “Speaking honestly, yeah, fucking stop, get the Nobel Prize and get the fuck out. Look, he gave the country away anyway, fuck,” he says.
“They fucked us, our children, their future, their fucking fates, you know?” says the voice alleged to belong to Farkhad Akhmedov. “Honestly, of course they’re criminals. Shit, what criminals,” the other voice answers.
Iosif Prigozhin has called the recording a fake. “Current technologies, neural networks, they let people fabricate not only voices but a whole conversation. Everyone knows my political position,” said the producer, who publicly supports Russia in the war.
Wagner Group founder Evgeny Prigozhin has commented that whoever posted the recording may have mistakenly thought that he was the Prigozhin on the call.