Top Stories August 15: Russia is losing its position in space exploration


The France Space Agency has left a joint project with Russia to create an orbital vehicle for India for exploring Venus’s atmosphere, which will lengthen the timing of the project. As Russia’s Institute for Space Research claimed, Russia will have no difficulties in replacing French components with Russian ones. [Source: TASS]

The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking for satellite launchers to replacef Russian Soyuz rockets that had been used before the Western sanctions blocked cooperation with Russia on space programs. Possible options include the SpaceX corporation of Elon Musk and a company from Japan. [Source: Reuters]


A Russian IT university Innopolis and bank Tochka launched an online business accelerator where a networking space for communication of participants was established. In the coming three months, 12 teams from Russia and the U.S. will test models of their startups. [Source: RB]

Russian online medical services startup BestDoctor, which provides services of clinics and insurance companies, projects a four-fold increase of its revenues by the end of 2023 compared to this year. BestDoctor cited its acquisition of an insurance company in February, new markets, and the expansion of its remote services as the main engines of anticipated growth. [Source: RB


Russian producer Evolute will present its first e-vehicle in August. Evolute i-Pro will be sold, manufactured at a Lipetskplant and will be available to Russian customers in September. [Source: The Chinese Cars magazine]

Russian car-sharing company Delimobil issued its first bonds attracting just $11 million, four times lower than expected. The sum will be sufficient for strategic goals including fleet expansion, wider geographic coverage, and completion of maintenance stations. [Source: Vedomosti]


Russian authorities want Yandex, which is headquartered in the Netherlands, to relocate back to Russia and are now negotiating the move with the company’s owners. Arkady Volozh, an Israel-based major shareholder in the company, sanctioned by the European Union and living in Israel, is reportedly ready to give up his ownership in exchange for intellectual property rights for some of the Yandex products. [Source: Bloomberg

Yandex, a Russian Internet powerhouse, is considering the relocation of the design of unmanned vehicle technologies to Israel. The tech giant is in talks with European providers of cloud computing facilities. The company said the move is needed to help Yandex expand its business abroad, the source code will stay in Russia. [Source: Kommersant]


More than 40 databases spanning 300,000 million of personal records have been hacked in Russia in 2022. The country’s authorities have adopted amendments to the legislation on personal data in July  to strengthen cooperation between telecommunication companies and regulators. [Source: Kommersant]

Russian mobile operator MTS established a new company, Serenity Cyber Security (SCS), aiming at a cybersecurity market that MTS says is growing. SCS will first be marketing the products now used by MTS itself, and plans to start selling new products by the end of 2023. [Source: Vedomosti]


Telegram, a Russia-origin messenger that claims to have more than 700 million users, has launched the Telegram Premium subscription that gives exclusive features to the subscribers. The set of the features includes the possibility to block video and audio messages and the creation of animated emoji and putting them in messages. [Source: Telegram]

Pavel Durov, the founder of Telegram, criticized Apple Corp. in his personal blog for being “too slow” in reviewing Telegram’s update with no feedback provided. Durov wroteApple’s actions  caused direct financial loss for their mobile app developers across the globe. [Source: Durov’s Telegram channel]


The number of patent applications for integrated circuit topography–the key component of a chip–increased by 40%, to 101, in Russia in the first half of 2022 year-on-year. Director of Rospatent, the Russian patent and trademark regulator, Yuriy Zubov said the trend is explained by the stable development of the domestic chip industry. [Source: Kommersant]

A Russian state-funded marketplace of industrial software, which is the platform that aims to help Russian manufacturers quickly find software to replace products of foreign suppliers that have left the Russian market plans to launch in September. [Source: Kommersant]


Russians spent 43% more, or nearly $40 billion, in the first half of 2022 on online shopping compared with the first half of 2021. Consumers’ rush to stock up on essentials amid an economic crisis due to the war in Ukraine and the rise of supply at online marketplaces were the key drivers. [Source: RIA Novosti]

Russian biggest marketplaces Wildberries, Ozon, and Yandex.Market formed a unified system to tackle counterfeit products. The code that facilitates information exchange between the marketplaces to block fraudulent vendors is open to other online retailers. [Source: RB

Strong ruble has cut Russian social media giant VK’s EBITDA by 85% to $13.3 million in the first half of 2022 compared to a year ago. The number of clients grew 24.6% to 26 million users during the same time period. The company also cited the lack of new releases. [Source: VK]


Russian business lacks nearly one million IT specialists, according to analysis by N3 Group. Specialists in machine learning, artificial intelligence and cyber security are most in demand. [Source: Fontanka]

The Russian Ministry for Digital Development has prepared a draft decree to lower discounted mortgages for IT specialists from the existing rate of5% to 3%. The document also contains other amendments to the discounted mortgage program launched by the government in May 2022 in an attempt to curb the outflow of highly qualified IT personnel from Russia. [Source: TASS]

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