On November 8, 2008, the Akula-II class nuclear attack submarine Nerpa was running sea trials in the Sea of Japan in the western Pacific when its freon-based fire extinguishing system malfunctioned, killing 20 of 208 people on board and injuring 21. Captain Dmitry Lavrentyev and engineer Dmitry Grobov stand accused of responsibility for the accident.
An inquiry into Oboronservis, a holding company controlled by the Defense Ministry, has led to a large-scale investigation. The decision was made to dismiss Anatoly Serdyukov from his position as defense minister on the basis of ensuring impartiality in criminal investigations. Several top officials were detained or placed on house arrest. Five fraud cases have reportedly been initiated so far over the sale of property, land and shares belonging to the holding company.
Left Front coordinator and opposition figurehead Sergei Udaltsov is being prosecuted as a result of the probe into the circumstances portrayed in the higly controversial "Anatomy of Protest-2" documentary. The film claims that Udaltsov and his supporters planned to stage mass riots and a coup using funding from the Georgian leadership, which is at odds with the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Eleven members of an alleged secret military procurement network have been charged in the United States with illegally shipping sophisticated microelectronics to Russia's military and intelligence agencies. Russia has recognized four of the eight accused in the case as its citizens. Three other suspects remain at-large.
On September 8, 2012 the trailer for a low-grade film aimed at discrediting Islam was aired by an Egyptian television network. The trailer, which depicts the Prophet Mohamed as something of a pervert, evoked a rage that soon boiled over in the form of anti-American protests staged at US embassies and consulates in Egypt and Libya. The film was banned in a number of countries, Russia and Kazakhstan among them.
The London High Court began hearing Boris Berezovsky's $5.5 billion lawsuit against Roman Abramovich on October 3. Berezovsky seeks compensation for assets he was forced to sell to Abramovich between 2000 and 2003, shortly after his flight from prosecution in Russia. Berezovsky claims in his lawsuit that Abramovich intimidated him and his business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili into selling a number of assets, including a 43-percent interest in the Sibneft oil company and a stake in the Rusal aluminum group, at a fraction of their value.
On February 21, five masked members of the Pussy Riot punk-group performed a protest song called "Holy Sh*t" at the altar of the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow. The video of their performance was posted on the Internet and incited a major public uproar. Three suspected Pussy Riot members are now under detention, facing up to seven years in prison for hooliganism.
The Interior Ministry's investigative department opened a case against former Bank of Moscow head Andrei Borodin and his deputy Dmitry Akulinin in late 2010. Both are alleged to have defrauded the Moscow government of 12.76 billion rubles ($418.4 million) via a loan issued by the bank to the Premier Estate company. Both men face up to 10 years in prison.