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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gref Gets Into a Crash On His Way to Work

Economics Minister German Gref escaped unhurt from a car crash Wednesday -- the latest in a recent string of road accidents involving Russian officials.

Gref's chauffeured BMW collided with another vehicle in southwest Moscow as he was riding to work in the early morning. No one was injured, officials said.

After a brief checkup at the government's Central Clinical Hospital, Gref arrived in his office and worked his regular schedule, said his spokesman Konstantin Bogdanov.

"The minister got off with only a scare," he said.

Officials wouldn't comment on the details of the crash, but the woman who was driving the other car, a sport-utility vehicle, blamed the minister's driver for the accident.

"With the green light on, I was crossing the intersection, and while I was already in the middle of it I saw a car rushing across," Yekaterina Nikolayeva said on TVS television. "I realized that a collision was inevitable."

Wednesday's accident followed a series of crashes involving government vehicles that has prompted some media to assail officials for ignoring other motorists' rights.

Last month, the chief of the presidential Security Council, Vladimir Rushailo, was injured in a car crash in the far eastern Kamchatka region in which six people were killed. Authorities said the crash occurred when a sport-utility vehicle hit several cars in the official motorcade.

In Moscow, a driver was killed in May when his car collided with a police vehicle preceding President Vladimir Putin's motorcade in the city center. Officials blamed the collision on the dead driver, saying he made an illegal U-turn in front of a police car. Earlier this month, a security car that was following Putin's motorcade rammed an ambulance on the same street. Several pedestrians were injured.

Noviye Izvestia on Wednesday blamed the accidents on the Federal Bodyguard Service, which blocks traffic well ahead of official convoys, resulting in huge traffic jams.

"Russia is a place where motorcades are dangerous for life," one of the paper's commentators wrote.