MOSCOW — The Soviet Union may be in the dustbin of history, but there’s one place the socialist utopia lives on: cyberspace.
Sixteen years after the superpower’s collapse, Web sites ending in the Soviet “.su” domain name have been rising — registrations increased 45 percent this year alone. Bloggers, entrepreneurs and die-hard communists are all part of a small but growing online community resisting repeated efforts to extinguish the online Soviet outpost.
Russian nostalgia for the Soviet empire is part of the story. Nashi, or “Ours,” is a pro-Kremlin youth group that gained notoriety for raucous protests against Kremlin critics. The group loyally praises President Vladimir Putin at “nashi.su,” though it denies its choice of the “.su” domain was meant to send a political message.
According to Wikipedia:
.su was assigned as the country code top-level domain for the Soviet Union on September 19, 1990. 15 months later the Soviet Union ceased to exist. It remains in use today, even though the Soviet Union itself no longer exists, and is administered by the Russian Institute for
Development of Public Networks.
In 2001, the managers of the domain stated that they will commence accepting new .su registrations, but it is unclear whether this action is compatible with ICANN policies. ICANN has expressed intentions to terminate the .su domain, and the IANA states that the domain is being phased out, but lobbyists stated in September, 2007 that they had started negotiations with ICANN on retaining the domain. In the first quarter of 2008, .su registrations increased by 45%.
No surprise here. Nashi is the new Hitler Youth, and their members will defend Czar Putin no matter what with a skewed sense of nationalism. How can you expect less from a leader who still thinks the USSR exists today? Putin reportedly told Bush at the NATO summit:
“You see, George, Ukraine is not even the state at all! What is Ukraine? Some part of its territory is the Eastern Europe, some its part, the greater part, is our gift!”
Of course if you’ve been keeping up with this crowd you would know this has been their mentality for years and everyone knows it.