How the Internet began in Russia and the CIS countries
How the Internet began in Russia and the CIS countries

How the Internet began in Russia and the CIS countries

On September 19, 1990, on behalf of the UNIX User’s Association (SUUG – Soviet UNIX User’s Group), an organization created in the bowels of the Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy. Vadim Antonov, head of one of the Demos teams, registered in the InterNIC (Internet Network Information Center) database the SU top-level domain for use in the USSR. SUUG also offered the option of naming the domain “.ussr”. The Association subsequently performed the functions of domain administration. The first Russian site was the resource of the Mathematics Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences (today –

In 1993, the domain administration was transferred to the Russian Research Institute for the Development of Public Networks (RosNIIROS).

By the time the .ru domain appeared in April 1994, several thousand domains had been registered in the .su zone. With the beginning of free registration of domain names in the Russian domain RosNIIROS stopped registration of second-level domains in the .su zone. Nevertheless, the domain zone continued to grow spontaneously by increasing the number of hosts.

In 2001, RosNIIROS entered into an agreement with the Internet Development Fund, under which the Fund was entitled to maintain and develop the .SU registry, set the rules for domain name registration and the cost of these services, and RosNIIROS retained the functions of placing and storing information about second-level domains on the root DNS servers of the .SU domain.

At the end of 2001, despite the protests of the Internet community, the administrators of the .su domain unfroze the zone, intended for phased liquidation, and opened it for commercial registrations.

On December 15, 2002, domain registration in the SU zone was resumed – at first only for trademark owners. In June 2003, the Internet Development Fund announced the end of the priority registration period and the beginning of open registration of domains in the .su zone.

In April 2008, the Internet Development Fund, which served as the administrator of the .su domain, expanded the possibilities of registering domain names in national languages in the .su domain: restrictions on the registration of domains with the prefix xn-- were lifted, which made it possible to enter part of the address in the browser line in the national encoding, including in Russian.

In August 2008, 37 new characters were added to the previously allowed Cyrillic characters. In this way, support was provided for the national languages of the peoples inhabiting the territory of Russia, namely: Altai, Bashkir, Buryat, Dolgan, Kalmyk, Komi, Koryak, Mari, Nanai, Nenets, Ossetian, Saami (without indication of vowel longitude), Tatar, Tuvan, Udmurt, Khakass, Khanty, Chuvash, Evenki, Evenki, and Yakut.

At the end of June 2008 the Committee for Maintenance of Registered Country Codes of the International Organization for Standardization (Committee ISO3166/MA) decided to transfer the code .su to the category of exclusively reserved codes. Corresponding changes have already been made in the table of two-letter codes of states and territories published as an international standard ISO-3166-1. Thus, the .su code in that table has become the tenth code in the exclusively reserved status.


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