Five people died and three were badly injured on Wednesday morning in a car crash in downtown Moscow, police said.
The crash, involving three vehicles, happened at 6:30 (02:30 GMT) on a northern section of the Garden Ring road.
“One of the vehicles burst into flames,” the spokesman said.
A police source said the Mercedes vehicle thought to have caused the crash had “temporary” number plates.
Other reports said the vehicle’s registration plates were among those handed out to government officials and had been removed immediately after the accident. Such number plates are routinely offered for sale by corrupt officials.
Police said later that Russan actor Nikita Yemshanov was behind the wheel. Yemshanov died in the crash on what was his 28th birthday.
.Around 100 people die every day on Russia’s roads, the most dangerous in Europe, according to statistics.
Four people – two adults and two children – were killed later on Wednsday in a crash in central Russia’s Saratov region.