The Russian diamond monopolist ALROSA was left without a president after Vyacheslav Shtyrov was elected president of the Sakha republic. No doubt, there will be plenty of candidates for this post, taking into account the fact that this company has always been highly profitable. It produces diamonds worth more than $1.6bn a year. Observers forecasted that the new president of ALROSA would most likely be a representative of the so-called St. Petersburg team of the incumbent President of Russia. One of the candidates to this post is Vladimir Litvinenko, head of the St. Petersburg Mining Institute. However, despite his close ties with the Russian President, Litvinenko is not likely to agree to take the post as ALROSA's President as this company is too small for his personal ambitions. Another candidate is German Kuznetsov, former deputy finance minister and ex-head of Gokhran, the Russian state depository of valuables. It is worth mentioning that ALROSA was on the edge of a financial breakdown in 1998 because of problems with export quotas, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported.
Alexey Navalny returned to Russia on January 17. He was detained upon arrival at the Sheremetyevo Airport. A court arrested Navalny for 30 days