Yandex.Catalog was launched in 2000 and has become a popular source of highly authoritative links in Russian SEO community, similarly to DMOZ in the western SEO world. Earlier this week Yandex announced [in Russian] that the Catalog will be discontinued in the nearest future.
According to the Yandex announcement, with constant improvement of search technologies, importance of catalogs in the web universe has decreased.
The main purpose of Yandex.Catalog was to facilitate the search for information with the help of a manually compiled register of websites. Nowadays people primarily discover information through search. During the last few years popularity (and traffic) of Yandex.Catalog has fallen to such degree that Yandex Team does now see the need to support the service any longer.
What happens to TIC?
Discontinuing of the Yandex.Catalog will not directly affect TIC. TIC will be displayed both in the Catalog and in Yandex.Webmaster. Of course, once the Catalog has been shut down, every listed website will lose a valuable backlink.
What about Yandex.Catalog registration fee?
The fee did not guarantee permanent publication in Yandex.Catalog. The purpose of paying the fee was to gain access to the priority registration queue. Yandex claims that they fulfilled their obligations to provide faster registration services.
Regional settings configured in Yandex.Catalog
Yandex.Catalog was one of the options for assigning regions to websites. Yandex reports that regions that have been assigned to websites in Yandex.Catalog will be transferred to Yandex.Webmaster.