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Introduced 1990
TLD type Country code top-level domain
Status Active
Registry Russian Institute for Public Networks
Sponsor Russian Institute for Public Networks
Intended use Entities from the Soviet Union
Actual use Entities from the post-Soviet states, including the Donetsk People's Republic[1]
Registered domains 119,423 (July 2014)[2]
Registration restrictions None
Structure Registrations are permitted directly at the second level
Dispute policies None
Website RUcenter

.su was assigned as the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the Soviet Union on 19 September 1990. Even though the Soviet Union itself was dissolved a mere 15 months later, the .su top-level domain remains in use today. It is administered by the Russian Institute for Public Networks (RIPN, or RosNIIROS in Russian transcription).


Before the creation of the Soviet domain there were only a few Internet pages in the USSR, mostly belonging to university colleges.[3]

After 1989 a set of new internet domains was created in Europe, including .pl (Poland), .cs (Czechoslovakia), .yu (Yugoslavia) and .dd (East Germany). Among them there was also a domain for the USSR – .su.[4] Initially, before two-letter ccTLDs became standard, the Soviet Union was to receive a .ussr domain. The .su domain was proposed by the then-19-year-old Finnish student Petri Ojala.[5] On 26 December 1991 the country formally ceased to exist and its constituent republics gained independence, which should have caused the domain to begin a phase-out process, as happened with those of East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. Until 1993[4] there was no assigned top-level domain name for Russia. For this reason the country continued to use the Soviet domain. In 1993 the .ru domain was created, which is supposed to eventually replace the .su domain[4] (domains for the republics other than Russia were created at different times in the mid-nineties; however, the domain usage outside the Russian region is slim). The domain was supposed to be withdrawn by ICANN, but it was kept at the request of the Russian government and Internet users.[4]

In 2001, the managers of the domain stated that they will commence accepting new .su registrations,[citation needed] but it is unclear whether this action is compatible with ICANN policies. ICANN has expressed intentions to terminate the .su domain[when?] and IANA states that the domain is being phased out,[6] but lobbyists stated in September 2007 that they had started negotiations with ICANN on retaining the domain.[7] In the first quarter of 2008, .su registrations increased by 45%.[8]


The domain was intended to be used by Soviet institutions and companies operating in the USSR. Currently, despite the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union and the superseding of the TLD by the new country TLDs of the republics that gained independence, it is still in use. Most of the .su domains are registered in Russia and the United States.[9] According to the RU-CENTER data from May 2010, there were over 93,500 registered domains with the .su TLD (there are over 2.8 million .ru domains).[10] Among the institutions still using this domain is the Russian pro-Putin party Nashi,[11] as well as by the pro-Russian armed insurgency in Eastern Ukraine.[12] Some organizations with roots in the former Soviet Union also still use this TLD.[13]

The domain is reported to host many cybercrime activities.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People's Republic". 
  2. ^ "nic.ru (Russian ccTLD Registry) domain count". nic.ru. 
  3. ^ Компания "Демос" – первый российский интернет-провайдер. Услуги дата-центра, офисная телефония, Интернет, хостинг – Компания Демос (in Russian), retrieved 12 January 2010 
  4. ^ a b c d Marcin Kryska. "Domena internetowa SU" (in Polish). Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Юбилей Рунета: 10 лет назад финн Петри Ойала зарегистрировал домен .su" (in Russian). Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  6. ^ .su Domain Delegation Data IANA
  7. ^ Kilner, James (19 September 2007). "USSR still alive on Internet and won't go quietly". Reuters. Archived from the original on 13 December 2007. Retrieved 5 December 2007. 
  8. ^ Back in the USSR: Soviet Internet domain name resists death, Mansur Mirovalev, writing for Associated Press, 18 April 2008
  9. ^ "Domena .su wciąż używana, chociaż ZSRR już nie ma" (in Polish). Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  10. ^ "RU TLD: Registration and Delegation Statistics". Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  11. ^ Nashi. Молодёжное демократическое антифашистское движение НАШИ / Главная (in Russian). Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "Новороссия". novorossia.su (in Russian). 
  13. ^ "Tons of Hackers are Hanging out in old Soviet Cyberspace". Gizmodo. 
  14. ^ "Old Soviet Union domain name attracts cybercriminal interest". 31 May 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2015. 

External links[edit]