Banners have been placed at the Kontraktova Ploshcha metro station in Kyiv urging people to use names for websites with the correct Ukrainian transliteration instead of domains that have a transliteration of the name of a city from the Russian language.
Today, the number of domains in the Russified zones is much higher than in the correct ones. For example, almost 40,000 names are registered in the kiev.ua zone, while the correct kyiv.ua zone has just over 3,000 domains.
The advertisement was placed by domain registrar and hosting provider Cityhost.ua as part of a campaign to promote Ukrainian domains with the correct transliteration. The campaign runs from August 1 to September 30, 2023. During this period, correct Ukrainian domains can be registered at a reduced promotional price. The provider also presented a video:
“I am convinced that during Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, we must develop our own identity, including in domain names. The Russified zones were launched earlier and now we have a big gap – the number of names in the Russified zone of the capital is more than ten times higher than in the correct one. We can’t change the past, but we can influence the future and we are making efforts to do so,” says Oleg Rivtin, CEO of Cityhost.ua.
The company has launched an initiative to de-Russify Ukrainian domains. According to him, Cityhost is the first and so far the only official Ukrainian registrar that has completely refused to register names in Russified zones.
“Only correct domains can be registered with us. We hope that this will bring results, and soon the number of names in the correct, Ukrainian-language zones will prevail over the merged ones,” Rivtin adds.
There are 8 zones in the Ukrainian domain name segment that have a double spelling – there is a variant based on the Ukrainian city name and a Russified analog:
kyiv.ua – kiev.ua
kharkiv.ua – kharkov.ua
odesa.ua – odessa.ua
mykolaiv.ua – nikolaev.ua
rivne.ua – rovno.ua
chernivtsi.ua – chernovtsi.ua
chernihiv.ua – chernigov.ua
cherkasy.ua – cherkassy.ua
Russified and correct domain zones work as mirror zones. This means that only one owner can register one name in both zones. For example, after registering test.kiev.ua, the name test.kyiv.ua is automatically reserved for the owner and vice versa.
You can register a second domain only with the same registrar where the first name is registered. If both domains are free, you can register either one with any company. This approach was chosen to avoid misuse of names and related misunderstandings.