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Homeless Jaywalker Struck by Kudrin's Car Flees Scene

The car of Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin has struck a homeless jaywalker, who rushed away fearing retaliation before he could receive first aid, news reports said.

The incident took place on Novy Arbat in central Moscow late Thursday. The victim, later identified as a 30-year-old resident of the Penza region, Sergei Kurayev, ran across the street and was hit by Kudrin's BMW, which was heading toward the Kremlin and was equipped with a flashing blue light, giving it priority on the road.

After being struck, Kurayev fell on the car's hood, inflicting minor damage to it, but then jumped up and fled before anyone could check his condition, Moskovsky Komsomolets said.

Viktor Khrekov, a spokesman with the Kremlin's Office for Presidential Affairs, confirmed the incident in an interview with the daily on Friday. He said neither Kudrin nor his driver were injured.

The victim was found by reporters on Friday, resting and drinking beer in bushes near the crash site. He said he came to the city to work in construction but turned to panhandling after unknown attackers beat him and stole his passport last month.

Kurayev said he "has no hard feelings" toward Kudrin and apologized for the accident.

"I myself am to blame because I was running across the road where it's not allowed," he said.

"Alexei Leonidovich [Kudrin], I'm sorry it happened, so forgive me for God's sake," Kurayev said, adding that he had suffered a small head injury and backache after the incident.

The minister did not comment on the incident over the weekend. Neither did the traffic police.

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