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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

.Ru Addresses Jump More Than Doubles in a Year

The number of registered .ru Internet addresses more than doubled to 135,000 over the last year, according to the Russian Institute for Public Networks.

The institute, which has developed regulations for registering .ru domain names, said Thursday that there were just 60,000 .ru addresses a year ago and that the number had jumped to 112,000 by Jan. 1.

"The Runet has had a surge this year," said RIPN spokesman Andrei Vorobyov. "It has been developing extremely rapidly."

The National Information Center, an affiliate of RIPN also known as Rutsentr, registers on average between 60 and 100 Internet addresses every day. Vorobyov said this figure pales in comparison to the 40,000 or so addresses registered daily in the three most popular domains -- .com, .net and .org.

There are 243 country domains worldwide, the most popular being Germany's .de, with several million registered addresses, and Britain's .uk, with nearly 1 million, according to NIC statistics. The most popular domain, .com, has approximately 27 million registered addresses.

Of the 135,000 Runet addresses, roughly 60 percent are owned by companies or organizations, 39 percent are personal sites and about 1 percent are nonlegal entities such as entrepreneurs, according to NIC.

Not all companies that register domain names with NIC actually use them -- cyber squatters register thousands of addresses that are eponymous with celebrities or well-known companies in order to try to sell them.

According to NIC, the most notorious cyber squatters on the Runet are Internet-Bureau Well, which owns 5,000 addresses, and the law firm Arbitrazhsudpravo, which has a "portfolio" of 2,000 addresses.

Earlier this week, Arbitrazhsudpravo became the first Russian company to be found guilty by the United Nations' World Intellectual Property Organization of illegally occupying another Russian company's .com address.

The WIPO's arbitration and mediation center ruled that Arbitrazhsudpravo had no right to use www.kommersant.com, which it had registered and then attempted to sell to the newspaper.

Vorobyov said there is another category of Internet hooligans -- people who register addresses containing profanity. He said NIC recently canceled the registration of five such addresses, including www.pidor.ru, which redirects web users to www.gay.ru, a site for gay Russians.

Geographically, most .ru addresses, 66.5 percent, are registered by companies or individuals residing in Moscow. St. Petersburg is the runner-up, with 5.8 percent, followed by Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg with less than 2 percent each.