Guus Hiddink's Anzhi Makhachkala claimed a 1-0 win at Dinamo Moscow in their first game since the winter break.
Dinamo Moscow 0-1 Anzhi (UK/US/ROI only)
Chris Samba, an £11 million signing from Blackburn last month, made his debut in defence and his new side claimed the three points with a 69th-minute winner from Brazilian Jucilei.
Spartak Moscow needed an 80th-minute strike from Nigerian Emmanuel Emenike to salvage a 1-1 draw away to Rubin Kazan, who led through a 58th-minute Roman Sharonov goal.
Promoted Krasnodar claimed a dramatic 1-0 win at home to Rostov through Pavel Golyshev's injury-time strike. The hosts had had an early effort from Yura Movsisyan ruled out.