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Medvedev Swaps Car for Helicopter

A video of Medvedev's helicopter ride from the government building.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has exchanged his limo for a helicopter on his daily commute, after repairs were completed to reinforce the Cabinet building's helipad.

He has already made good use of the metallic gray chopper with the Russian flag on it since last week, with the most recent trip being on Wednesday for the opening of United Russia's Civil University.

In a video posted on the government website, Medvedev is shown coming out of the government building and shaking hands with a helicopter pilot before sitting in the chopper and taking off.

In good weather, the prime minister will use the helicopter to get to various events outside the government house, said spokeswoman Natalya Timakova, according to a statement posted on the government website.

Downtown Moscow is being equipped with several landing pads as part of an effort to create a system of transportation routes above the city, Vladimir Kozhin, head of the presidential affairs office, said late last year.

The move is aimed at reducing the city's crippling traffic jams, with choppers initially being available to Medvedev and President Vladimir Putin, then possibly to subordinate officials later on.

The government is also amending current legislation that bans private flights above big cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg.

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