With Lokomotiv Moscow not in action until Sunday, when they face bottom side Anzhi Makhachkala, Zenit kept up the pressure on their title rivals. It was not as routine as they might have liked, with Hulk's 21st-minute opener matched early in the second half by Krasnodar's Joaozinho.
But an own goal from Vitali Kaleshin lent Zenit a helping hand in the 64th minute, and Jose Salomon Rondon added a third goal from the home side with nine minutes to go. Hulk finished the job in the dying moments. Zenit have a two-point lead over Lokomotiv, who in turn lead CSKA Moscow by the same margin. CSKA eked out a 1-0 home win over Ural on Saturday, courtesy of Ahmed Musa's 17th-minute goal.
Tomsk and Amkar Perm contested a goalless draw, while Terek Grozny were 3-0 victors at home against Rostov in a match that saw both sides reduced to ten men before half-time.
Terek led from the 26th minute when Mauricio inched them in front. Rostov lost Guelor Kanga eight minutes later, with the numbers evening out when Rizvan Yutsiev was dismissed in the 42nd minute, just after Ailton had doubled the home side's lead. Ailton added Terek's third with a 78th-minute penalty.