Leaders CSKA Moscow returned to winning ways to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the Premier League standings on a day when the top three all picked up home victories.
CSKA had earned just two points from their previous three games, but they got back on track today after easing past Terek Grozny 1-0 thanks to a goal from Sweden international Pontus Wernbloom on the half-hour.
That win kept CSKA a victory clear of second-placed Zenit St Petersburg, who thrashed ten-man Alania Vladikavkaz 4-0 thanks in large part to a hat-trick from Hulk, his first for the club.
Alania were always up against it after losing Ognjen Vranjes to a red card after only 14 minutes and reigning champions Zenit showed little mercy as they picked up their sixth win in their last seven matches.
Hulk opened his account for the night with a 36th-minute penalty and he completed his hat-trick with two goals in eight minutes midway through the second half. Substitute Alexander Bukharov wrapped up the scoring with Zenit's fourth two minutes from time.
Third-placed Anzhi Makhachkala were also victorious, remaining seven points behind Zenit after staging a late fightback to beat fifth-placed Rubin Kazan 2-1.
Lacina Traore and Samuel Eto'o turned the game on its head for Anzhi after Roman Eremenko had given visiting Ruben an 82nd-minute lead. In today's other match Kuban Krasnodar beat Rostov 2-0 with Bulgaria international Ivelin Popov netting both goals at the start of the second half.