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Moscow’s Blue Bucket Brigade

Fed up with the blaring sirens used by government officials to get to their destinations faster than ordinary Muscovites, a group of frustrated drivers has begun to fight back, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

The protesters place toy buckets on top of their cars in place of flashing blue lights. They assemble in a Moscow parking lot and receive instructions from the group's leader, Aleksei Dozorov.

“Obey the traffic rules,” he tells them, so the police won’t have a reason to pull them over. Make sure your driver’s license and papers are in order, and know the driving rules, he advises.

In case he is stopped, Dozorov carries a copy of a court decision overturning a traffic fine for a driver with a blue bucket on top of the car.

Dozorov is stopped many times. But as a retired police officer, he knows the rules officers have to follow. When he is pulled over, Dozorov goes on the offensive, asking to see the officer’s identification. The officer complies.

“What is my offense?” he demands next. Then he reprimands the officer for putting his hand too far into the car, violating another rule. Finally the police officer lets him go, and Dozorov continues cruising the streets of Moscow, honking his horn in solidarity with members of his blue bucket brigade.

-- Ricki Green

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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