THE UK Defence Secretary took a phonecall with pranksters claiming to be the Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

Tory MP Ben Wallace admitted his department had been tricked into a call with the fake prime minister on Thursday.

He wrote on Twitter: “Today an attempt was made by an imposter claiming to be Ukrainian PM to speak with me.

“He posed several misleading questions and after becoming suspicious I terminated the call.

“No amount of Russian disinformation, distortion and dirty tricks can distract from Russia’s human rights abuses and illegal invasion of Ukraine. A desperate attempt.”

It is not yet clear who was behind the false phone call.

The news has sparked questions around the security at the top levels of the British government.

SNP MP Stewart McDonald said the Defence Secretary's admission was "extraordinary".

Sky security editor Deborah Haynes wrote: "That’s a bit of a security breach - someone posing as Ukraine’s Prime Minister blags his way into a phone conversation with the UK defence secretary. 

"Wonder how long until the audio emerges online…"

Russian pranksters Alexei Stolyarov and Vladimir Kuznetsov have made headlines in the past after allegedly tricking US politicians and even Prince Harry into thinking they were speaking with Greta Thunberg.

The pair allegedly have links to Russia’s security forces, claims they deny.

New Statesman writer Jeremy Cliffe also drew the connection, saying: "Sounds a lot like Vovan and Lexus [the pair's nicknames], the Russian pranksters believed to have links to the FSB."

In 2018, the pair also pranked then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson, speaking to him for almost 20 minutes while pretending to be the prime minister of Armenia.

While some have questioned the Defence Secretary's reasons for disclosing the false call, it would seem to align with the West's new strategy of selective declassification.

This has seen US and UK intelligence forces release confidential details, such as the fact that Russia planned to invade Ukraine, to the public.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told a Westminster committee this month that this technique had been "absolutely critical in wrongfooting the Russians".