MOSCOW — Two Russian pranksters said Wednesday they fooled Elton John into believing that President Vladimir Putin had given him a call.

The British star on Tuesday posted a message on Instagram, thanking Putin for calling him to discuss gay rights in Russia and inviting him to Moscow. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied the reports.

Vladimir “Vovan” Krasnov and Alexei “Lexus” Stolyarov said they had fooled John by calling him on Tuesday and pretending they were Peskov and Putin. The two said the audio would be broadcast on a prime-time show Wednesday.

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