Russia Plans State-backed Web Search Engine Named After Sputnik: Report

Police also said that they found a car full of cash and unlicensed arms on the premises. Tensions between nationalist Russians and North Caucasus natives have been simmering for two decades. Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, was killed in a dispute over his girlfriend with another man as the couple returned home on Thursday. Sunday’s rioters were protesting what they called impunity for the man’s supposed killer. Police and investigators on Monday promised to find the man and bring him to justice. Of the hundreds suspected rioters arrested on Sunday, police kept only two in custody and fined 70 more. Dozens of police officers were injured in the Sunday riots, and five were hospitalized, police said. Loading Slideshow Russian ultra-nationalists shout slogans during a protest in the Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Moscow police were on October 14, 2013 holding almost 400 people under arrest after the Russian capital was rocked by some of its worst ethnically-fuelled rioting in years, sparked by the killing of an ethnic Russian allegedly by a Muslim migrant from the Caucasus. An initially peaceful protest in the Biryulyovo district of Moscow to protest the killing of Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, rapidly descended into bloody clashes with the police that left the glass doors of a shopping centre smashed and cars upturned. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images) A police officer guards a vandalised street, the site of mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013. Mass rioting broken out today in a southern Moscow district after a mixed crowd of nationalists and locals attacked a warehouse run by migrants and natives of the Caucasus. The riot was prompted by the fatal stabbing of an ethnic Russian in the area. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images) Police officers guard a vandalised street, the site of mass rioting in the southern Biryulyovo district of Moscow, late on October 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov MOSCOW | Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:58am EDT MOSCOW (Reuters) – State-controlled telecoms group Rostelecom plans an internet search engine named after the Sputnik satellite, Vedomosti newspaper said on Friday, though analysts said the aim to muscle into the highly competitive Russian market was doomed. The government has made moves to boost control over the Internet, but a state-backed search engine, to be called www.sputnik.ru, would face leading search engine company Yandex, with 62 percent of the market, U.S. giant Google and Mail.Ru. “Search engines are a completely different area from the telecoms service business in which Rostelecom is involved,” said VTB analyst Ivan Kim in a research note. “With its lack of expertise, the venture is unlikely to meet with success.” Rostelecom did not immediately reply to a request for comment about the project, to be named after the first man-made satellite, which was launched in October 1957. The new search engine may have to be used by state institutions as a default tool, said Vedomosti, citing sources at Rostelecom and other Internet companies in its report. It said the project had cost $20 million so far. Kim said the plan looked like it was imposed on Rostelecom by the state and would most likely be a cash drain. Russia, with the largest internet audience in Europe, has increased state control over the Web, including launching a black list of sites distributing content such as child pornography, but which critics said could boost censorship. Rostelecom is trying to hire developers from rivals to work on the search engine project, expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2014, Vedomosti added. The project has so far indexed about half of the Russian Internet, it said. Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a note that developing high-quality search technology may require the best talent and long research and development and that the quality of search results may be well below that of leading firms. “Even if the launch of Sputnik is well-executed, we do not expect it could significantly eat into the market shares of Yandex or Google,” the Merrill Lynch analysts wrote.