Moscow’s ZiL lanes are special lanes on main roads that are reserved for the use of top government officials

ZiL lanes (also sometimes called “Chaika lanes”) are lanes on some principal roads in Moscow dedicated to vehicles carrying senior government officials. Known officially in Russian as rezervniye polosy (“reserved lanes”), they took their nickname from the black limousines produced by ZiL and the luxury Chaika cars that were used by officials of the Soviet Union as their official vehicles. ZiL lanes emerged in the 1960s during the rule of Leonid Brezhnev, replacing the previous system of having other vehicles flagged down to make way for those of top officials. The lanes were inserted into the middle of some of Moscow’s main highways in place of the central reservations and were off-limits to all but authorised civilian and emergency service vehicles.

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You’re more likely to die on your birthday than any other day

A study involving a staggering 2.4 million people has revealed that dying on your birthday is possibly more common than we might assume. Researchers in Switzerland determined that the effect may be due to something called the anniversary reaction hypothesis, and even cite stress surrounding the big day as a reason people are prone to kick it on their birthdays.

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