Elton John has been speaking at the #YESUkraine2015 Conference in Kiev, which is highlighting "the importance of LGBT equality and support in the workplace."
Posting to his Instagram a few days ago, the singer said: "We need Ukrainian businessmen and power brokers to create a more inclusive and tolerant society. We need this everywhere! @ejaf @davidfurnish #lgbtrights #lgbt #ShareTheLove."
The singer followed this post with a photo of him meeting with President Poroshenko, along with the caption: "After speaking at the #YESUkraine2015 Conference today in Kiev, I met with Ukraine President Poroshenko about the importance of legislative changes to support LGBT rights. Specifically, I asked him to 1. Ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexuality and gender identity. 2. Provide criminal penalties for hate crimes. I want to thank him and the First Lady for welcoming me and David so warmly, and for his support. @ejaf @davidfurnish @poroshenkopetro #lgbt #lgbtrights #ShareTheLove."
Needless to say, the big fish Elton really wanted to fry was Russian President Vladimir Putin, who's raging intolerance of homosexuality is well documented. According to CBS News, only last year he reportedly defended "Russia's anti-gay law by equating gays with pedophiles and says Russia needs to 'cleanse' itself of homosexuality if it wants to increase its birth rate."
Therefore it came as something of a surprise that Elton John's last post went as follows: "Thank-you to President Vladimir Putin for reaching out and speaking via telephone with me today. I look to forward to meeting with you face-to-face to discuss LGBT equality in Russia. @president_vladimir_putin @ejaf #lgbt #lgbtrights #ShareTheLove."
This news came as even more of a surprise to Putin's press secretary Dmitri S. Peskov. Speaking with The New York Times, he said the president did not call Elton John, “This does not correspond to reality... There was no conversation."
Someone's telling porkie pies somewhere along the way. The idea of Putin picking up the phone and calling Elton John does "correspond to reality" more than the notion that Elton John is suffering from bouts of Putin-themed day dreams.