A 14-year-old Russian orphan with a debilitating genetic disease has reportedly asked President Vladimir Putin for the right to live with his prospective adoptive family in the United States. But the Kremlin immediately called the news items false and a provocation aimed at discrediting Russia’s international reputation and embarrassing Putin. The plea from a boy named Maxim in the hardscrabble Urals city of Chelyabinsk came two weeks after Putin signed into law a bill banning all US adoptions. The measure was given fast-track approval and almost no parliamentary debate in reprisal for new US legislation that targets alleged Russian rights abusers.  But the law also created controversy at home and up to 20,000 people are expected to come out on the streets of central Moscow in protest on Sunday. Chelyabinsk media said the boy had been in touch with the US family - the Wallens - from the state of Virgina for seven years and that his case was already under court review when Putin signed the ban into law on December 28. “I would be very grateful if you come out in favour of children,” the website of local Chelyabinsk television Thursday quoted a letter it said Maxim had sent to Putin. “Do not deprive children of their right to obtain a family,” the boy reportedly asked Putin. Maxim later told the pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda daily that he had never actually written a letter but was simply responding to the television reporter’s question about what message he might have for Putin.