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    RU DOMAIN WAS REGISTERED ON THE INTERNET 10 YEARS AGO

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    MOSCOW, April 7, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Ten years ago, on April 7, 1994 the international InterNIC organization registered the high-level RU domain.

    "Ten years ago, Russia was officially recognized as a country represented on the Internet," said Dmitry Ivanov, the head of the Yandex news service.

    However, the Russian Internet began to operate before that, he said.

    "At least two events that took place in 1990 can be considered the beginning of the Russian Internet - the first telecommunications contact with Finland and the registration of the Soviet Union domain SU," said Ivanov.

    He added that the spread of the Internet in the Soviet Union coincided with its collapse. The SU domain was replaced with 15 domains of the former Soviet republics that became independent.

    The expert pointed out the increasing number of users: according to polls of the Public Opinion Foundation, Russian Internet users today account for 14.6 million, or 13% of the population.

    Over the decade, the Russian language Internet has been provided with search engines, e-mail services, news resources, electronic shops and many other useful services. An Internet industry with the leaders - Yandex, Rambler and Mail.ru portals - has been formed.

    "In all, over the ten years, 235,000 domains (according to RU-Center) have been registered in the RU zone. Yandex experts estimate the volume of the Russian Internet at 350 million documents," said Mr. Ivanov.

    He added, "there are many obstacles in the development of the Russian Internet, e.g. the underdevelopment of the e-commerce structure or the huge gap in new technologies provision between cities and the regions."

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