Support The Moscow Times!

Blue Buckets to Sue Justice Ministry Over Registration Denial

Blue Buckets posts photos of officials abusing their special driving privileges on its website. This woman was spotted using a blue flashing light to rush to an appointment at a beauty parlor.

The Blue Buckets drivers' rights group is planning to take the Justice Ministry to court after it refused to grant the group the status of a registered nongovernmental organization, Blue Buckets coordinator Pyotr Shkumatov said Wednesday.

“We wrote out the statute slowly and drearily, checking for every hitch,” Shkumatov wrote on his LiveJournal page.

“But after little more than a month, we received a rejection. Having studied it carefully, we understood that they refused [to register Blue Buckets] for purely technical reasons.”

The Blue Buckets group was founded in 2010 to channel public outrage against the blue flashing lights, or migalki, that grant special driving privileges to high-ranking officials and favored citizens. Blue Buckets members have also actively participated in the recent protest movement against President Vladimir Putin's rule.

The group holds demonstrations, encourages citizens to report instances of motorists abusing driving privileges and offers legal support to victims of accidents involving migalki.

There have been several such accidents in recent years, including a 2010 incident in which a LUKoil deputy director driving a Mercedes equipped with a migalka collided head-on with a Citroen, killing two female doctors.

Shkumatov posted online a copy of the Justice Ministry's rejection letter, highlighting officials' complaint over “the discrepancy between the types of activity and aims of the organization.”

Shkumatov said that this meant the group would be required to remove “defending the rights and due interests of citizens” from the types of activity and goals of the organization. He said the group was currently preparing the necessary documentation to file a legal complaint in the near future.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more