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Mikhalkov Caught on Video Driving Illegally

Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov on Monday unleashed a barrage of insults at people who had filmed him cruising in the opposite lane in front of a traffic police officer, just days after he was stripped of his road privileges.

A YouTube video shows Mikhalkov in his black Range Rover crossing into the opposite lane on the Garden Ring, not far from Dmitrovskoye Shosse in the city's north.

The incident took place late Saturday, wrote the uploader, only identified by his blogging alias, Ultra_nm. He added that he has asked a nearby traffic cop to intervene, but the officer said he missed the incident because he was busy slapping a biker with a fine.

Mikhalkov was a longtime user of a flashing blue light, a state-issued device entitling motorists to ignore most traffic rules. But he lost it last week after quitting the Defense Ministry's public council, which had provided the light.

The director admitted to violating traffic rules in a Monday interview with Lifenews.ru, saying he was hurrying to a live television broadcast. He added that he actually asked the traffic cop to stop traffic for him.

Mikhalkov also slammed his critics with harsh words, "sick people" being the only epithet fit for print.

The Interior Ministry's road safety department said it was looking into the incident, Lifenews.ru reported. Department head Vladimir Shevchenko said Mikhalkov "should be punished" and added that he is "sick and tired of these flashing lights."

Mikhalkov may be fined 1,500 rubles ($50) or have his driving license suspended for six months over the incident.

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