A pro-Putin youth group has asked media outlets to remove a video of the movement’s leader dining in one of Moscow’s most luxurious restaurants.
The video of Nashi leader Vasily Yakemenko, recorded on a mobile phone, was posted by socialite and TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak on her Twitter account on Sunday night.
It shows her trying to interview the Nashi leader in the downtown Mario restaurant.
Nashi – the name means “Our People” in Russian – was set up by the Kremlin in 2005, shortly after youth groups had played a leading role in toppling pro-Kremlin leaders in Ukraine and Georgia.
Yakemenko initially said he would give the interview, meant for the Russian GQ magazine. “Only on condition that you are objective and believe what goes on for real, not what you have in your head.” He then changed his mind, and said: “Let’s not, okay? I haven’t given interviews in a long while.”
Nashi said there was “nothing sensational” in the clip – which it said violated Article 152.1 of Russia’s Civil Code on the protection of a citizen’s image – and asked websites hosting it to remove it voluntarily.
“I can’t laugh any more,” Sobchak tweeted.
A Nashi spokeswoman called Sobchak, the daughter of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s one-time boss, former St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak, a “cheap prostitute” who “sabotaged a family dinner.”