Russian Prez`s son `starred in television show`

Ilya Medvedev starred in two sketches in long-running national television children`s series Yeralash, or Jumble.

Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev`s
teenage son, who is now shielded from the public and never
photographed, starred just four years ago in a children`s
television show before his father become Kremlin chief, the
programme`s makers said.

Ilya Medvedev, now believed to be 16, starred in two
sketches in long-running national television children`s series
Yeralash, or Jumble, the Echo of Moscow radio station
reported.

"He went through normal casting. It was later that we
found out who he was. He was a great boy, we liked him," the
show`s artistic director Boris Grachevsky told Echo of Moscow
yesterday.

The director of one of the sketches, Alexei Shcheglov,
told Komsomolskaya Pravda daily: "Yes, I knew whose son Ilya
was, but the filming was no different from usual."
The name Ilya Medvedev -- a common one -- appears in the
credits of the sketches.

Several photographs allegedly showing Ilya Medvedev have
been leaked on the Internet and the actor bears a clear
resemblance to his father.

The sketches were shot in 2007 and 2008 when Dmitry
Medvedev was first deputy prime minister, pro-Kremlin tabloid
Komsomolskaya Pravda reported. He was elected president in
March 2008.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, which gave the article full
prominence in its print edition, later removed the story from
its website. Contacted by a news agency, the Kremlin declined to
comment.

The offspring of Russia`s rulers are elaborately
protected. Vladimir Putin`s two adult daughters are never
officially photographed and are believed to be living
incognito.

Putin said in an interview last year he saw no need for
his daughters, and then university students, to become publicly
known and they did not want to be.

His press secretary Dmitry Peskov told Dozhd Internet
television this month that Putin wanted a "simple human life"
for his daughters.

Medvedev`s son, born in 1995, has been slightly less
hidden from view. He reportedly played guitar with members of
Deep Purple in March, and Medvedev has talked of his son`s
love for rock band Linkin Park.

PTI

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