Prank calls to defence secretary Ben Wallace and home secretary Priti Patel last week were made by Russian state actors, according to Number 10.
Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said the calls come “straight from the Kremlin playbook to try and distract from their illegal activities in Ukraine and their human rights abuses there”.
Wallace said last Thursday that an impostor claiming to be Ukrainian PM Denys Shmyhal was able to set up a video call with him.
Wallace cancelled the call when he realised it was not Shmyhal, saying afterward that the impostor “posed several misleading questions and after becoming suspicious I terminated the call”.
Patel was also a victim of a hoax call, while an unsuccessful attempt was made to speak to culture secretary Nadine Dorries.
It is understood that there are fears in Whitehall that recording of the calls could be doctored and used for Russian propaganda purposes.
Johnson’s spokesman said the calls were “an attempt to distract and spread misinformation”.
“This is something the Russian state tries repeatedly,” he said.
“We have strong protections in place to protect against this kind of thing and we will call it out when we see it. There’s an inquiry into this specific incident, because there is guidance already in place for how such a call should happen.”
On Thursday, Wallace said: “No amount of Russian disinformation, distortion and dirty tricks can distract from Russia’s human rights abuses and illegal invasion of Ukriane. A desperate attempt.”