Support The Moscow Times!

Popular Russian Actor Faces 12 Years in Jail for Fatal DUI Crash

Security footage captured Yefremov’s SUV driving into oncoming traffic and crashing into a van on the Garden Ring road. Ksenia Semyonova / TASS

Mikhail Yefremov, one of Russia’s most well-known actors, faces up to 12 years in jail for a drunken head-on collision in central Moscow that killed the driver of the vehicle he crashed into late Monday.

Security camera footage captured Yefremov’s SUV driving into oncoming traffic and crashing into a van on the Garden Ring road steps away from the Russian Foreign Ministry building. In eyewitness videos after the incident, Yefremov appeared to be drunk with slurred speech and stumbling movements.

The van driver, identified as online delivery driver Sergei Zakharov, was hospitalized in critical condition. News agencies reported Tuesday morning that Zakharov, 57, had died from his injuries.

Yefremov was initially charged with a DUI, which carries up to seven years in jail, and released pending investigation before the van driver died from his injuries. A medical exam has established an unspecified amount of alcohol in Yefremov's blood.

Following the delivery driver's death, police increased the charges against Yefremov to ones that could land him behind bars for up to 12 years.

An unnamed law enforcement source told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency that authorities plan to take Yefremov in for questioning.

Yefremov, 56, has cultivated an image of a jolly drunk in his acting career that spans more than 30 years.

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.