Russians enraged with bureaucrat motorcades creating massive gridlock on a daily basis

Russians are pissed off at Kremlin bureaucrats who stop traffic with frequent "blue bucket" motorcades.

From the Financial Times: “When you have to close down half the city so that some official can get to his meeting a little faster, you are understandably going to create dissatisfaction. They close the streets to everyone – to fire trucks, ambulances, everyone,” said Pyotr Shkumatov, head of an organisation known as the “Blue Buckets” devoted to “democratising” Russia’s roads. The name is a joking reference to the blue strobe light atop official cars.

In July, a woman in Kamchatka had her car sideswiped by a van in a motorcade apparently belonging to Mr Medvedev. The footage, recorded on Olga Kuklina’s dashboard camera and featuring her infant daughter screaming in the back seat, has been an internet sensation.

Ms Kulina said the federal bodyguard service blamed her for the collision until they realised she had filmed it.

According to an article in the Argument I Fakty newspaper about the incident, one official was overheard telling another: “If this bitch didn’t have everything on camera, we could do a 1937 on her,” apparently referring to the year at the height of Stalin’s terror.

Here's a GIF of a protestor jumping on a blue bucket car. The driver gets out and knocks the bucket off the protestor's head only to find that the protestor is wearing a smaller bucket under the first bucket!

Check out the Blue Bucket website for more videos of Blue Bucket motorcade abuse.



  1. Not one, but two (or more?) buckets on that protestor’s head.  The Matroyskha doll of freedom, my friends!

  2. I visited Russia before the fall of the wall. There were few cars and they solely existed to transport party members. Cars had the right of way over pedestrians and usually drove at high speed. Being somewhat high up in the party was the only way to gain perques such as cars for personal transportation.

    I guess the people in government still want to demonstrate that they are better than the masses.

  3. I believe the book Around the Bloc mentioned this. The author was amazed that there seemed to be so damn many emergency vehicles in Moscow until she was told that anyone with enough money could purchase the right to own the blue flashers for their own personal use. Couple this with the fact the Moscow probably has more millionaires per capita than anywhere else and…..

  4. Back in the early 90s we had Libertarian conferences in Eastern Europe.  One of the hard problems people were trying to solve was how to give the means of production to the workers before the ex-Communist bosses stole everything and became the new Capitalist bosses.  Unfortunately, for the most part the answer was “Nyet, they’re going to steal it”, though there was some success in giving shares in the newly privatized businesses to the workers rather than just the bosses.

  5. Ms Kulina said the federal bodyguard service blamed her for the collision until they realised she had filmed it.

    Nice to know they’re also such honest, stand-up guys.

  6. To be fair, russians do a lot of crazy shit on their roads. So not driving with a full motorcade does seem like a slightly suicidal proposal anyway.

  7. big deal. Shit like this happens all the time in Athens. And not just with politicians but rich guys as well. Though the latter are not (usually) police escorted, just acompanied by a single bike rider.

  8. Mark, Good thing I’d seen that GIF before, because by describing it you’re basically spoiling the punchline of a sight gag.

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