A MAN in Siberia has won hundreds of thousands of roubles in compensation after magicians failed to make his estranged wife return.
The man from the city of Omsk, only named as M.E.A. in court documents, was devastated when his wife left him in August 2017.
But one TV advert made him hopeful: It promised to "return your wife or loved woman", and also remove various types of curse. But things didn't turn out as he had hoped.
A bad spell
According to the Russian government's official daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the despondent husband called the advertised number and was told that his wife could be made to return using "magic knowledge".
A contract was drawn up, and the man paid a company called The Sixth Sense 260,332 roubles ($4,000, £3,300) for "extrasensory services, fortune-telling, spiritism and astrology".
His wife, however, never came back, and M.E.A. sued The Sixth Sense.
The Kuybyshevsky Court in Omsk could not find any evidence of the above services having been rendered and awarded the man 400,000 roubles ($6,300, £5,100) in compensation.
This much money "is probably what it takes to return the wife", joked an article on Rambler News, one of Russia's most popular news websites.
Other things magic can't do
There is a booming market in services such as love spells in Russia, which Rambler News attributed to the popularity of "psychic challenge" TV shows featuring contestants who claim to have super-human powers.
Apparently, they go beyond returning estranged lovers. One participant in such a show - "a fifth-generation magician from Scandinavia" - was alleged to be offering seats in the Russian parliament for 1 million dollars each.
She was charged with fraud once the authorities found out.