Frustrated by increasing numbers of official corteges blocking traffic - including ambulances and fire engines - for up to 20 minutes, one Muscovite web user decided to film the practice on his mobile phone and post it online.
The same problem exists in the rest of Europe, including France, where officials often come before the urgently ill. But in Moscow, Web users have noticed that the convoys come thicker and faster, leading them to suspect increasing numbers of "officials" are taking advantage of the privilege. Online debates about the tradition gave one popular Muscovite blogger, Voinodel, the idea of capturing a stalled ambulance on video.
Suddenly a police car blocks the exit to give some Russian fat cat a clear road to his Rublevka [pricey western Moscow residential area] house. Nothing special. As usual, everybody should wait patiently.
But there's something unusual. An ambulance with its sirens blazing is approaching the exit from Minskaya Street. Everybody gives way, so that the ambulance quickly gets to the head of the queue of halted cars. But at the end, the cop keeps blocking the way as if there's no problem.
That's the message we get from the authorities: die, scum, the boss is in a hurry.
The ambulance driver got the message. And in order not to be too provocative, turned his siren off and waited the usual 20 minutes along with everyone else. I've cut the video - who would endure 20 minutes of just waiting?
Sorry for the poor picture - I'm not used to filming on mobile phone."
Other webusers give similar examples.