Arkady Dvorkovich, the Kremlin’s top economic aide, is optimistic about Russia’s future position on the global economic stage, emphasizing the currently shaky US situation. Alfa Bank and Uralsib have cut their growth predictions for next year. Prime Minister Putin is concerned that vulnerable banks could be the subject of hostile takeovers. President Medvedev insists that plans to modernize the army will not be affected by the economic crisis. How will Russia attract long-term investors? Nasa could be set to purchase Russian spacecraft. Yulia Latynina sees government support for the Russian stock market as a code for ‘money laundering’. A temporary ban on short sales has been lifted. Highland Gold, backed by Roman Abramovich, seems to be surviving the current slump. Transmashholding’s deal with Canada’s Bombardier has fallen through over a pricing dispute.