Rosneft Executive Chairman Igor Sechin has been seen driving through Moscow with a blue flashing light known as a migalka attached to his car, despite not being authorized to do so, the Dozhd TV channel has reported.
Blue flashers or migalki give drivers certain privileges according to Russian road regulations. However, they have long been an object of hatred among Moscow drivers due to their misuse by public servants, businessmen and "VIPs." Drivers of vehicles sporting the flashers were known to disregard traffic laws, putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk.
A personal decree by President Vladimir Putin from 2012 states which vehicles are authorized to have the blue lights, such as emergency vehicles and those of the Federal Security Service. Vehicles belonging to the heads of state-owned companies are not included in the text of the decree.
At the end of last year, a photo of Sechin's car with the blue light appeared on the Internet when journalist Anastasia Kashevarova published the photo to her Instagram account. The photo shows a dark Mercedes on outside the Kremlin. According to Kashevarova, Sechin got behind the wheel of the car when he emerged from the government building.
Dozhd TV attempted to contact Rosneft Press Secretary Mikhail Leontiev for a comment on the issue, but was told by Leontiev to "Please f**k off." Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov could not be reached for comment.
In 2010, an anti-migalka protest movement called The Society of Blue Buckets formed in response. Supporters would attach bright blue buckets to the roofs of their cars and participate in auto-flashmobs throughout the city.
One protester staged a more radical demonstration, wearing a blue bucket on his head.