Russian Satellite Navigation System Used on Putin's Dog
The AP reported via CNN that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is using Russia's satellite navigation system to track his pet dog.
The Global Navigation Satellite isn't fully operational yet, but after being briefed on its progress by deputy Sergei Ivanov on Friday, footage broadcast on Russian TV showed them attaching a collar containing satellite-guided positioning equipment on Koni, the prime minister's black Labrador.
Ivanov said that the equipment goes on standby when "the dog doesn't move, if it, say, lies down in a puddle."
"My dog isn't a piglet, it doesn't lie in puddles," Putin joked.
"She wags her tail, she likes it," Putin said after watching Koni outside his home on Moscow's western outskirts.
The system, known as GLONASS, was developed in response to the U.S. Global Positioning System during the Soviet era. It has been developing slowly in the wake of the post-Soviet economic crisis.
The government promised the system would be completed by the beginning of the year, but it was delayed by equipment flaws and other technical difficulties.
Ivanov told Putin that the system would have 21 satellites by the end of the year, which is enough to provide navigation services over the entire Russian territory.
Ivanov said it would need to have 24 satellites to be available worldwide, which is projected to happen by the end of 2009.