Download: Russian Mafia Street Wars Strelka Meanwhile in Moscow mafia meeting fails

By Sergej Wozny


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These, along with hair-raising car crashes and fistfights between drivers, are just a sampling of the thousands of bizarre automobile incidents that have been inadvertently captured on video by Russian drivers and uploaded onto video-sharing websites.

The videos are a quirky byproduct of what has rapidly become a major fad in Russia -- the use of dashboard-mounted video cameras.

Motorists use these dash cams as a tool to help fight their corner against Russia's notoriously corrupt traffic police as well as against scammers trying to extort money out of drivers.
The dash cams film and record virtually everything that happens around a vehicle, making them an essential accoutrement for Russian motorists. It's not surprising, therefore, that anticorruption activists have been singing their praises.

"You can get into your car without your pants on, but never get into a car without a dash cam," says Aleksei Dozorov, an activist with the Blue Bucket Brigade, a motorists' rights group that won fame by combating Russian officials' propensity to flaunt traffic rules.

"I tell everyone that they are absolutely essential," Dozorov adds. "They make you your money back many times over. God forbid there is a car crash or a serious road infraction that could cost you your license. If you record everything with the dash cam, as well as conversations with traffic cops, then it will save you money. In [Russia] this thing is simply essential."