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Putin Evades Fine for Helmet-Free Motorcycle Ride

Traffic police in annexed Crimea will not fine President Vladimir Putin for riding a motorcycle without a helmet earlier this month.

Putin was filmed at the wheel of a motorcycle during a biker show on Aug. 10 as 50,000 protesters took to the streets of Moscow. At least two people filed complaints with the city of Sevastopol’s branch of Russia’s traffic police claiming that Putin should be fined $15 for the infraction.

“Turns out you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet,” one of the people who filed the complaint, lawyer Maxim Chikhunov, joked on Facebook. 

The police department’s response attached by Chikhunov maintained that regular traffic rules did not apply to the biker show, which had been organized by the Night Wolves motorcycle club.

The rules do not apply because “road traffic is fully [prohibited]” during ceremonial events, athletic competitions and military parades, the attached letter reads. 

The same argument was used to rebut Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s 2011 complaint after Putin rode a motorcycle helmet-free in southern Russia, BBC Russia reported.

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