Runet (terminology)

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For other uses, see Runet (disambiguation).

Runet, a portmanteau of ru (from Russia's top-level domain) and net (as in Internet), is a term that refers to Russian-language Internet domains and websites. The term "Runet" has been used by media, journalists and politicians in several senses.

Runet is not completely synonymous with the Internet in Russia nor Internet sites in Russian, nor even with the set of sites in the .ru TLD, but more accurately refers to the sphere of Internet sites predominantly visited by Russian-speaking users, which form a part of contemporary Russian culture.

The country domain .ru in Russian phonology does not sound like the first syllable of the country's name, since "Russia" in Russian is called "rossiya", with an O.

Historical overview[edit]

Historically the term Runet has been described in several ways.

  • In 2009, a Yandex report stated that Runet can pertain to sites written in Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian and Kazakh languages, as well as sites in any language published in the national domain .am, .az, .by, .ge, .kg, .kz, .md, .ru, .su, .tj, .ua or .uz.[1]
  • Russian-language Internet. According to the definition in Yandex slovari dictionary published in 2001, "Runet is Russian Internet. The borders of Internet are usually not based on the "geographical borders", but rather on "languages", and therefore the term Runet is usually considered to be not only websites in .ru domain, but also all Russian-language and/or Russian-oriented[clarification needed] websites".[2] "Economic dictionary" of 2009 says "Runet is Russian-language part of the Internet".[3] This is a common meaning of Runet. Practically, this definition makes it the Russian-language online community of post-Soviet states and their diasporas.
  • .ru domain. Runet is the part of Internet, whose websites are in top-level .ru domain.[2] This definition would exclude Russian (language) or Russian (country) sites intentionally using other domains. Highly popular alternative domains include as ".da" or ".net" for humorous impact or strength of statement (as these mean yes and no, respectively, in Russian), popular havens for illegal activities like ".me" (piracy) or ".cz" (to avoid prosecution for facilitation of prostitution), or ".com" for international expansion - the latter being home to Russia's #2 site by Alexa rank, domestic-owned and based international social network
  • Internet in the Russian Federation. According to the definitions found in Finansovy Slovar' and some early-version Yandex slovari dictionaries (disputed by revisions), "Runet is the Russian part of Internet".[4][5] Also, Russian officials strongly suggest that Runet is the Internet in Russia[6][7]


Harvard University's Berkman Center conducts regular researches of Internet in Russia,[8] and, in particular, has papers named "Mapping RuNet Politics and Mobilization"[9] and "RuNet Echo".[10] The prominent Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) regular Internet measurements are titled[11]


External links[edit]