Alexander Plushenko is a social media sensation with more than 438,000 followers on Instagram, where the seven-year-old features in a prolific stream of posts showcasing skating performances at his illustrious father’s school, dance routines with his parents and insights into his lavish home life.
In her latest sensitive response to perceived criticism, his mother, producer Yana Rudkovskaya, has pledged to press on with an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bid to create a new law stopping journalists from speaking about her son without his parents’ permission.
Speaking to Super, glamorous Rudkovskaya spoke about threats they had been sent, potential changes to libel and slander laws she could pursue and her legal clash with a magazine she considered to have alleged that Plushenko junior had a mental illness.
She also produced another video from the youngster, known as Gnome, calling on his “beloved” Putin to provide legal protection against “nasty things” being written about him.
Rudkovskaya is said to be working with attorney Alexander Dobrovinsky to bring the bill before the State Duma in Moscow, but Andrey Knyazev, the chair of the Moscow Bar Association, said such a law would not be possible and it would be difficult to “prohibit 150 million people from expressing their opinion”.
“Even more so if you yourself expose your child to social networks,” he said, speaking to Championat. “What will Putin say? ‘Don’t write bad things about children’?
“If the child [wins trophies], can they write about it? Or should they be jailed? Can you write badly about adults?
“If a person considers himself insulted, then we have articles on libel and moral harm.”
Knyazev added that Plushenko’s popularity through good press would be the primary casualty of a successful action.
“Yes, the media will no longer be able to ‘write nasty things’ about the son of the famous skater, but…news about his successes will disappear – both on the ice and on Instagram,” he warned.
“Just imagine: [his son], at the age of 16, wins the Olympics, and nowhere is there a word about this victory.
“It would be a shame…but in strict accordance with the law adopted after his own appeal to the president.
“I wonder if Sasha [Alexander] Plushenko’s parents understand this. Do Yana and Evgeni really want [the ability] to write something somewhere about their son to be prohibited by law?”
Earlier this year, Rudkovskaya offered a prickly response to a suggestion by former Russia midfielder Andrey Arshavin that Plushenko was being forced to take part in choreographed videos.
She dedicated another social media video with her son to Arshavin before Plushenko told the ex-footballer that he was “weak” and claimed he could beat him on the pitch.
The wife of the two-time Olympic Games gold medalist has shown her respect for Putin before, marking his birthday last year by posting a message alongside a photo of herself meeting him at an event.