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Russian Actor Known For Criticizing Kremlin Faces Prison For Deadly Drunk Driving

Mikhail Yefremov appears on television in 2011.
Mikhail Yefremov appears on television in 2011.

Mikhail Yefremov, a well-known Russian actor who in recent years has criticized Kremlin politics in his stand-up performances, faces up to 12 years in prison for killing a person in an accident while he was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol.

Moscow police said on June 9 that Yefremov was drunk when he drove his Jeep Grand Cherokee at high speed into an oncoming lane in central Moscow, hitting another car.

Yefremov did not suffer any injuries in the accident, while the driver of the other vehicle, identified as 57-year-old Sergei Zakharov, was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries.

A video clip from Moscow's traffic regulation center showed Yefremov's car failing to follow a bend in the road, instead crossing several lanes before heading directly into oncoming traffic and plowing into another car head on.

Yefremov was initially charged with causing an accident while driving under the influence, which carries a punishment of up to seven years in prison. He was ordered not to leave Moscow while an investigation was carried out.

However, Zakharov died in hospital early on June 9 and police said Yefremov's charge was changed to "causing a deadly traffic accident while driving under the influence."

Yefremov's stand-ups challenging President Vladimir Putin and his politics have been very popular in recent years.

Based on reporting by RIA Novosti, TASS, and Interfax

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