Support The Moscow Times!

Putin Gives Duma More Cars with VIP Flashing Lights

Dmitry Grishkin / Vedomosti

Vladimir Putin has signed a decree giving the Duma access to more cars with flashing lights (known in Russian as “migalki”), which allow them to bypass traffic. The current Duma will be able to use 12 cars with the emergency lights, up from 8 in the previous Duma.

The Russian traffic code states that an emergency vehicle can be given priority if it is furnished with a flashing blue light and an accompanying siren, both of which must be turned on. “VIP” vehicles cannot sound a siren but Russian government officials are nevertheless given priority on the road thanks to the “migalki.”

Back in 2010, a protest movement emerged in Russia as a response to the self-serving use of emergency rotating blue flashers by public servants. Known as the “Society of Blue Buckets,” its member used blue toy buckets and installed them on their cars during flash-mobs as a protest against the misuse of emergency lights. 

Here's a 2010 video by Russian performance art collective Voina of a man with a blue bucket on his head charging at a VIP vehicle with a flashing blue light.

… 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