After Berlin's mayor Giffey became the victim of a so-called deep fake attack, the real Vitali Klitschko now wants to talk to her. This time through official channels to avoid technical manipulation.
After a fake phone call by an alleged Vitali Klitschko to Berlin's governing mayor Franziska Giffey, the real Kiev mayor is hoping for a talk with the SPD politician soon. After hearing about the fake call to Giffey and Madrid Mayor José Luis Martinez-Almeida, Klitschko told the "Bild" newspaper: "I hope that we can talk on my official channels soon." Klitschko added: "I don't need a translator either."
During a video call on Friday, Giffey had doubts as to whether she was actually connected to Kiev's mayor as planned. The conversation then ended prematurely. The Senate Chancellery assumes digital manipulation: "Apparently we are dealing with deep fakes," said Senate spokeswoman Lisa Frerichs. "There was someone sitting across from us who looked exactly like Vitali Klitschko, who moved like that." The police are now involved. "Deep Fakes" are sophisticated technical manipulations that can often only be uncovered by experts.
The Senate Chancellery said on Twitter on Friday that a conversation with Melnyk, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, confirmed that Giffey was not connected to Klitschko. "Unfortunately, it is part of the reality that the war is being waged by any means necessary," Giffey is quoted as saying in the tweet. "Also online, using digital methods to undermine trust and discredit Ukraine's partners and allies."
In Madrid, too, Mayor José Luis Martinez-Almeida quickly became suspicious of the video call with the alleged mayor Klitschko and broke off the conversation, as confirmed by mayor's office spokesman Daniel Bardavío Colebrook. A complaint was filed against unknown persons for using a false identity and the mayor's office in Kyiv was informed. Martinez-Almeida will call the real Klitschko on Saturday.