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Russian Embassy In Bishkek Being Sued Over Fatal Traffic Accident

Video of the accident shows that traffic lights had been red for more than five seconds before a Russian diplomat's car plowed into another vehicle at a Bishkek junction.

BISHKEK -- The widow of a Kyrgyz driver who was killed in a traffic accident involving a Russian diplomat says she will file a lawsuit against Russia's embassy in Bishkek.

The widow, Nelli Leksina, has refuted Kyrgyz state media reports claiming that the Russian Embassy had expressed condolences to her family and would pay the expenses for the funeral of her husband -- Aleksi Leksin.

She told RFE/RL on February 20 that the Russian Embassy did not offer any condolences and that all expenses for the funeral were being paid by her husband's employer.

On February 16, a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado registered with the Russian Embassy sped through a red light in Bishkek and smashed at high speed into the side of a Mercedes Sprinter van driven by Leksin.

Leksin died while being transported to a hospital from the scene of the accident.

Russian Embassy spokeswoman Darya Pakhomova told RFE/RL that the driver of the embassy's car was a Russian diplomat named Viktor Pukhov.

Video of the accident, filmed by a Kyrgyz driver in a third vehicle and posted to YouTube on February 16, shows that the traffic signal had been red for more than five seconds and that Leksin was already in the intersection when Pukhov sped through the red light and smashed into Leksin's van.

The video post raised a storm of complaints from social-media users in Kyrgyzstan, prompting Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry on February 17 to summon Russia's Charge d'Affaires Aleksei Mzareulov to discuss the fatal accident.

Pukhov was hospitalized with a dislocated pelvis.