Runet (terminology)

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For other uses, see Runet (disambiguation).

Runet (a portmanteau of ru (Russia's top-level domain) and net (common abbreviation of internet)) is a widely used[citation needed] term that pertains to Internet domains and websites, and has several terminological uses. The term "Runet" has been used by media, journalists and politicians.

Runet is Russian-language webites, or in areas of substantial Russian-speaking population. Thus, it is not completely synonymous with Internet in Russia or Internet in Russian language but rather more accurately is representative of Russian-language Internet, and Internet in Russia and other countries of the world where there is a significant portion of Russian-language citizens.

The country domain .ru in Russian phonology sounds like the first syllable of culture, but not the country which is said like "rossiya", .ro not .ru. So .runet is Russian Culture on the world wide web, not per se only country links etc.. So, while .ru may be a country-level domain, runet is a cultural domain of Russian Culture worldwide.

Historical overview[edit]

Historically the term Runet has been described in several manners.

  • 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]


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