Back in December, Yandex announced they will be dropping link factors from part of their search ranking algorithm. They made that decision because the links were being abused so much that it ruined the overall relevancy of the search results.
Well, that day has come and Yandex announced in the Yandex Forums (Russian but I spotted it over here) that the change went live this week. It is live in the Moscow region and impacts only commercial related queries. Yandex said:
As we promised earlier , today we stop to consider links in the rankings for commercial requests. Implementation of this change occurs in stages. In the first phase change will affect ranking queries in the Moscow region on a number of commercial topics, such as, for example, real estate, tourism, electronics and household appliances. Later changes will spread to other subjects. We hope that the resources that were used to manipulate the links will now be directed to a real improvement in the quality of the site. Ultimately, this will benefit both users and businesses, and search engines.
There are lots of comments and responses to the change in the Yandex Forums about the change.
But it is done and Yandex removed links from their core market and core search algorithm.
Forum discussion at Yandex Forums.