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Russia’s e-commerce sector has seen significant expansion, emerging as one of the largest markets in Europe. By 2023, the e-commerce market in Russia was valued at over $35 billion, with projections for continued growth driven by increasing internet penetration and digital literacy. In addition to the booming e-commerce sector, Russian companies are at the forefront of developing innovative digital services. Yandex, often dubbed the ‘Russian Google,’ provides a comprehensive range of services, including search engines, e-commerce, ride-hailing, and financial technology. Similarly, Mail.ru Group stands out with its offerings in social media, email services, and gaming. Both companies have not only secured a strong foothold in the domestic market but have also expanded their presence internationally.

Internet governance

Internet governance in Russia is characterised by a strong emphasis on state control, driven by geopolitical, security, and sovereignty concerns. Russia advocates for a model of internet governance that emphasises state control over digital activities within its borders. This model is rooted in the belief that controlling the internet is essential for national security and political stability. This concept includes regulating online speech, monitoring internet use, and managing data flows to protect against external and internal threats.

Sovereign internet

Russia has developed a framework to create an autonomous internet, often referred to as the ‘RuNet.’ This system is designed to operate independently from the global internet in case of external disruptions or cyber-attacks. Legislation passed in 2019 (Sovereign Internet Law) requires internet service providers to route traffic through exchange points controlled by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal service for supervising communications, information technology, and mass media. This system includes a ‘kill switch’ that can isolate the Russian internet from the global network if needed.

Data Localization

Russian Data Localization Law (Federal Law No. 242-FZ) mandate that data about Russian citizens be stored on servers within the country. This applies to all companies that collect, store or process personal data, including foreign entities operating in Russia. This is part of a broader strategy to ensure that the government retains control over domestic data and can protect it from foreign interference. Compliance is monitored by Roskomnadzor, which can block non-compliant websites and services​​.

Content Regulation and Censorship

Russia has intensified its efforts to control online content over the last few years. This includes blocking access to websites that do not comply with Russian laws, such as those hosting prohibited content or failing to localize data. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have been banned or restricted. New laws (or amendments to existing laws) also criminalize the dissemination of what the government deems as ‘fake news,’ particularly regarding Ukraine conflict.​

International Stance and Cooperation

While Russia collaborates with other countries on various aspects of internet governance, such as promoting a UN-led international governance system, it remains cautious about deep technological cooperation. Concerns about national security risks have limited the scope of collaboration to less sensitive areas, with a focus on self-sufficiency and reducing dependence on foreign technology​.

Internet governance debate

Russian stakeholders are active participants in various internet governance forums and initiatives at the regional and global levels. Russian stakeholders also participate in the European Dialogue on Internet Governance (EuroDIG) and Central Asian IGF events, which bring together stakeholders from the region to discuss digital policy-related issues and challenges. At the global level, Russia is a member of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

Russia also hosts a national internet governance initiative known as the Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF), which has been held 14 times.

Digital strategies

Russia’s digital strategies are focused on transforming its economy, fostering innovation, and ensuring technological sovereignty. These strategies encompass various programs and initiatives designed to enhance digital infrastructure, support technological advancements, and improve digital literacy.

Digital Transformation

The Presidential Decree on National Goals and Strategic Objectives of the Development of the Russian Federation for the Period up to 2024 places significant emphasis on the digital transformation of the country. This aspect of the doctrine aims to enhance Russia’s digital infrastructure, promote the adoption of digital technologies across various sectors, and improve the digital literacy of its population.

A key focus is the development of a robust digital economy. The decree outlines the necessity of expanding high-speed internet access to all regions, including remote and rural areas, ensuring that the entire population benefits from connectivity. This expansion is seen as foundational for enabling other digital advancements and is expected to support the growth of e-commerce, telemedicine, online education, and other digital services.

The Russian government also aims to foster innovation in the tech industry by supporting the development and implementation of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and big data analytics. This involves both the creation of new technological solutions and the integration of these technologies into existing industries to improve efficiency and productivity. The decree emphasizes the importance of public-private partnerships in achieving these goals, leveraging the strengths of both sectors to drive innovation.

Digital Economy Program

The Digital Economy Program, running until 2024, aims to modernize various sectors through digital transformation. This comprehensive initiative includes expanding broadband access, developing 5G networks, and enhancing data center capabilities. The program also emphasizes the integration of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Additionally, it seeks to improve digital literacy and skills among the population through targeted educational initiatives. These efforts are expected to significantly boost Russia’s digital infrastructure and technological capabilities.

National Technology Initiative (NTI)

The National Technology Initiative (NTI) focuses on positioning Russia as a global leader in high-tech sectors, particularly AI, biotechnology, and IT. The NTI supports research and development projects in cutting-edge technologies, assists startups in bringing innovative products to market, and fosters international collaboration. By targeting these key sectors, the NTI aims to drive technological innovation and economic growth, ensuring Russia remains competitive on the global stage​.

Support for Startups and Innovation

Russia promotes entrepreneurship through initiatives like the Skolkovo Innovation Center, which provides funding, resources, and networking opportunities to tech startups. This ecosystem supports the development and commercialization of innovative products and services, fostering a vibrant startup culture. By nurturing tech startups, Russia aims to drive innovation and economic growth, positioning itself as a hub for technological advancement​.

E-Government Development

Efforts to digitize government services are a key component of Russia’s digital strategies. The Gosuslugi portal allows citizens to access a wide range of public services online, enhancing convenience and accessibility. This initiative aims to improve the efficiency and transparency of public administration, making government services more user-friendly and accessible to the population.


Cybersecurity is a critical component of Russia’s national security and digital strategies. Over the past decade, Russia has implemented various measures and developed comprehensive policies to enhance its cybersecurity capabilities. Here are the key aspects of Russia’s cybersecurity framework:

National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents

The National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents (NCCCI) was established to centralise threat intelligence and coordinate responses to cyber incidents. This center plays a crucial role in monitoring, preventing, and responding to cybersecurity threats, enhancing the overall resilience of Russia’s digital infrastructure​.

The NCCCI acts as a coordination hub, aggregating information from state agencies, private companies, and international partners to build a comprehensive view of the cyber threat landscape. This data informs defensive measures and strategic responses. In the event of a cyber incident, the NCCCI coordinates response efforts, deploying technical resources, expertise, and facilitating communication between affected entities to mitigate impacts.

The center also fosters collaboration between government, industry, and academia, enhancing the resilience of Russia’s digital ecosystem. Its role in both proactive threat monitoring and reactive incident response underscores its importance in protecting Russia’s critical infrastructure from cyber threats, as part of the broader Information Security Doctrine​

Cybersecurity Strategies and Programs

Russia has developed and implemented several cybersecurity strategies and programs to protect its digital infrastructure:

  • Information Security Doctrine: Adopted in 2016, this doctrine outlines the principles and priorities for ensuring information security in Russia. It focuses on protecting critical information infrastructure, countering cyber threats, and enhancing international cooperation in the field of cybersecurity​.
  • The Law on Communications and the Law on Security of Information Infrastructure provide additional legal structures for regulating cybersecurity in Russia.
  • National Program Digital Economy: This program includes significant investments in cybersecurity to protect the country’s digital infrastructure from cyber threats. It also aims to develop domestic cybersecurity technologies and solutions.
AI strategies and policies

The AI landscape in Russia includes government-led initiatives, substantial private-sector investments, and a growing ecosystem of startups and innovation hubs.

Research institutions like Moscow State University and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology are at the forefront of AI research, focusing on machine learning, neural networks, and robotics. These institutions contribute significantly to the academic and practical knowledge base in AI.

The Skolkovo Innovation Center serves as a major hub for AI startups, offering resources and support for projects in AI, biotech, and IT. This center fosters a vibrant startup ecosystem, driving innovation and commercialization of new AI technologies.

Russia’s strategic approach to AI involves a comprehensive framework designed to foster innovation, ensure ethical use, and maintain national security.

The National AI Strategy sets out goals and priorities for AI development in Russia until 2030. The strategy emphasizes boosting research and development, integrating AI into various sectors of the economy, and creating a regulatory environment that promotes AI adoption while ensuring safety and ethical standards.

Federal programs like the Digital Economy Program and the Artificial Intelligence Federal Project are central to Russia’s AI strategy. These programs focus on enhancing digital infrastructure, supporting AI research, and promoting the integration of AI technologies across different industries. The AI Federal Project, in particular, aims to develop AI technologies, promote AI education, and support AI startups.


General profile

Official name: Russian Federation

Source: Wikipedia

National internet domain: RU

Source: Wikipedia

Area: 17,075,400 km2

Source: Wikipedia

Capital: Moscow

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 146,804,372

Source: Wikipedia

Population growth: -0.44

Annual population growth rate for year t is the exponential rate of growth of midyear population from year t-1 to t, expressed as a percentage. Population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship.
Source: World Bank Open Data

Life expectancy at birth: 71.34

Total years (2020year) Source: databank.worldbank.org

Rule of law estimate: -0.87

Rule of Law captures perceptions of the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society, and in particular the quality of contract enforcement, property rights, the police, and the courts, as well as the likelihood of crime and violence. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
Source: databank.worldbank.org

Regulatory quality estimate: -0.44

Regulatory Quality captures perceptions of the ability of the government to formulate and implement sound policies and regulations that permit and promote private sector development. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
Source: databank.worldbank.org

Political stability: -0.65

Political Stability and Absence of Violence / Terrorism: measures perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including politically-motivated violence and terrorism. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately -2.5 to 2.5 (Estimate 2021)
Source: databank.worldbank.org

Economic info

Currency: Russian ruble

Source: Wikipedia

Unemployment: 5.01

Unemployment, total (% of total labor force) Source: databank.worldbank.org

GDP (current US$): 1,775,799,919,352.97

Source: databank.worldbank.org

GDP growth (annual %): 4.82

Source: databank.worldbank.org

GDP per capita (current US$): 12,172.79

Source: databank.worldbank.org

Inflation, consumer prices (annual %): 6.69

Source: databank.worldbank.org

GNI (current US$): 1,732,531,672,016.43

The Gross National Income, GNI, formerly referred to as gross national product (GNP), measures the total domestic and foreign value added claimed by residents, at a given period in time, usually a year, expressed in current US dollars using the World Bank Atlas method. GNI comprises GDP plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from non-resident sources. Source: databank.worldbank.org

Ease of doing business score: 78.16

The ease of doing business score benchmarked economies concerning their proximity to the best performance in each area measured by Doing Business for the year 2019. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from0 = lowest performance to 100 = best performance Source: databank.worldbank.org

Digital profile

Internet and social media penetration:

Individuals using the internet, total (%): 88.2 (2021)

Source: www.itu.int

Social media statistics: 106.0 million

Estimate for 2022
Source: datareportal.com

Male internet users: 89 (2021)

Male internet users as a % of total male population
Source: www.itu.int

Facebook users: 8.60 million

Estimate for 2022
Source: datareportal.com

Female internet users: 87.6 (2021)

Female Internet users as a % of total female population
Source: www.itu.int

Instagram users: 63.00 million

Estimate for 2022
Source: datareportal.com

Households with internet access at home (%): 84 (2021)

Source: www.itu.int

Linkedin users: 7.20 million

Estimate for 2022
Source: datareportal.com

Fixed broadband subscriptions: 23.7 (2021)

Total fixed broadband subscriptions (per 100 people) refers to fixed subscriptions to high-speed access to the public internet (a TCP/IP connection), at downstream speeds equal to, or greater than, 256 kbit/s.
Source: www.itu.int

Twitter users: 2.95 million

Estimate for 2022
Source: datareportal.com

Mobile infrastructure and access:

Mobile ownership: 98.74

Mobile phone ownership as a % of total population (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Mobile Infrastructure: 67.62

Mobile Infrastructure index: High-performance mobile internet coverage availability. It includes parameters such as network coverage, performance, quality of supporting infrastructure and amount of spectrum assigned to mobile network operators (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Male mobile ownership: 98.1 (2021)

Male mobile phone ownership as a % of total male population
Source: www.itu.int

Mobile Affordability: 75.79

Mobile Affordability index : The availability of mobile services and devices at price points that reflect the level of income across a national population. It includes parameters such as mobile tariffs, headset prices, taxation and inequality (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Female mobile ownership: No data

Female mobile phone ownership as a % of total female population
Source: www.itu.int

Cybersecurity Index: 98.06

Cybersecurity Index (Estimate for 2021): ITU cybersecurity value
Source: www.itu.int

Network performance: 60.91

Network performance index: Quality of mobile services measured by download speed, upload speed and latencies (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Mobile download speeds: 50.58

Mobile download speeds: Average download speed for mobile users (originally in Mbit/s) (Estimate for 2021)
Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

Mobile uploads speeds: 51.02

Mobile uploads speeds: average uploads speed for mobile users (originally in Mbit/s) (Estimate for 2021)
Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

Mobile Latencies: 81.14

Mobile Latencies: Average latency for mobile users (originally in milliseconds) (Estimate for 2021)
Source: Ookla's Speedtest Intelligence

Speedtest-Broadband: 70.82

Speedtest-Broadband: The value is expressed in Mbps (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.speedtest.net/global-index

Network coverage: 87.01

Network coverage (% of total population) (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

2G Coverage: 98.94

Coverage % of population (Estimate for 2021)
Source: www.itu.int

3G Coverage: 96.78

Coverage % of population (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

4G Coverage: 96.0

Coverage % of population (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

5G Coverage: 0.0

Coverage % of population (Estimate for 2021)
Source: https://www.mobileconnectivityindex.com/

Operating system and browser market share estimate for 2022:

Operating system market share (%):

Desktop, Tablet & Console Operating System Market Share: Estimate for 2022
Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/

Browser market share (%):

Browser Market Share Worldwide: Estimate for 2022
Source: https://gs.statcounter.com/

Android: 30.79

Chrome: 54.39

Win10: 31.8

Safari: 13.42

iOS: 13.54

Edge: 2.71

OS X: 2.76

Firefox: 4.49

Win11: 2.59

Samsung Internet: 1.15

The UN E-Government Survey 2022:

The UN E-Government Survey is the assessment of the digital government landscape across all UN member states. The E-Government Survey is informed by over two decades of longitudinal research, with a ranking of countries based on the UN E-Government Development Index (EGDI), a combination of primary data (collected and owned by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and secondary data from other UN agencies.

E-Government Rank: 42

Nations E-Government Development Index (EGDI), a combination of primary data (collected and owned by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and secondary data from other UN agencies. Estimate gives the country's rank.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

E-Government Index: 0.82

The EGDI is a composite measure of three important dimensions of e-government, namely: provision of online services, telecommunication connectivity and human capacity. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

E-Participation Index: 0.6

The E-Participation Index (EPI) is derived as a supplementary index to the United Nations E-Government Survey. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

Online Service Index: 0.74

The online services index was developed by the UN to evaluate the scope and quality of government online services. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-cente

Human Capital Index: 0.91

The Human Capital Index (HCI) quantiï¬_x0081_es the contribution of health and education to the productivity of the next generation of workers. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

Telecommunication Infrastructure Index: 0.81

Telecommunication Infrastructure Index- Telecommunication Infrastructure Index (TII) Composite Indicator that measures the countries' Telecommunication infrastructure readiness to adopt the opportunities offered by Information and Communication Technology as to enhance their competitiveness. Estimate gives the country's score ranging from approximately 0 to 1.
Source: https://publicadministration.un.org/egovkb/en-us/data-center

ICT information:

ICT skills

Information economy indicators

Individuals with basic ICT skills (%): 41.4 (2021)

Source: www.itu.int

Share of ICT goods, % of total exports (value) 0.51 (2020)

Source: https://unctadstat.unctad.org/

Individuals with standard ICT skills (%): 13.8 (2021)

Source: www.itu.int

Share of ICT goods, % of total import (value): 10.37 (2020)

Source: https://unctadstat.unctad.org/

Individuals with advanced ICT skills (%): 0.9 (2021)

Source: www.itu.int

Most visited website: vk.com

The survey conducted in 2022 excluded global dominant sites (e.g., YouTube, Facebook, and Google) and search engines (e.g., Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, Naver, and Yandex) to level the playing field and discount middle-man visits. Likewise, it did not include adult, betting, illegal streaming/downloading services, and malicious websites.
Source: https://www.hostinger.com/tutorials/the-most-visited-website-in-every-country