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RIGF 2021: Developing the internet for all humanity

On April 7-9, the 11th Russian Internet Governance Forum (RIGF 2021), organized by the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ with the support of the Russian Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, ICANN, Technical Center of Internet, and Kaspersky Lab, took place in Moscow. Over 700 people had registered for the forum and about 200 took part offline, with over 1,000 following RIGF 2021 in Zoom, on YouTube and at the forum’s website,, with 50 speakers at eight sections of the forum. In addition, three awards ceremonies were held at RIGF 2021.

The Russian Internet Governance Forum traditionally kicks off on the ccTLD .RU’s birthday, April 7, and 2021 was no exception. Director of the Coordination Center Andrey Vorobyev congratulated all the .RU users on its 27th anniversary and added that over the past two years since the previous RIGF significant changes had taken place in global internet governance.

“The internet governance sphere today is nothing other than a reflection of the complexities and contradictions in today’s geopolitical picture of the world, clashes of national interests in the international arena, and growing tensions on a number of issues between the leading countries,” Andrey Vorobyev said.

In his opening remarks, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media Maksut Shadayev said: “The internet is the nervous system of modern society; it requires great care and attention. Russia was at the origins of the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and became the first country in Eurasia to host a national Internet Governance Forum. Today we are facing new challenges and threats, and must seek new answers to them and the dialogue held at the RIGF is very valuable. I would like to wish all the participants successful work and assure them that everything discussed here will be considered and will get a start in life.”

The ceremony to present awards and certificates of merit for achievements in the shaping and development of the Russian internet segment became symbolic for the birthday of .RU domain. The awards were presented by Maksut Shadayev and Head of the Department for the Development of ICT and Communication Infrastructure of the Presidential Executive Office Tatyana Matveyeva. Six employees of the Coordination Center were among the awardees.

The RIGF 2021 opening ceremony was continued by Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Technologies and Communications Alexander Khinshtein. In his remarks, he noted that the Russian engineering system and internet infrastructure were ready for the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the opening ceremony were also Chair of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group Anriette Esterhuysen, President of Vympelcom Rashid Ismailov, who became candidate for the office of the ITU Secretary-General this year, and Youth Digital Ombudsman Dmitry Gulyayev, who presented the results of the First Youth RIGF and read out the Youth Message.

The opening ceremony continued with presenting awards to the winners of IP&IT LAW 2021, the sixth Russian youth contest of works on ICT law and intellectual property.

On the second day of RIGF 2021, Virtuti Interneti was awarded: a prize for service to the internet industry, established by the Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ in 2010. This is a unique prize in Runet awarded to representatives of the internet community, businesses, science and officials who have made a significant contribution to the development of Runet and the global network. In 2021, it was presented for the 11th time, to Bertrand de la Chapelle, Executive Director and co-founder of Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network (France).

Over the course of three days the forum participants discussed the most topical issues of internet governance: data sovereignty and trust in the network, artificial intelligence and digital platforms, attribution of cybercrimes and ethical issues in the use of new technologies. Speaking at the forum were deputy ministers of digital development, communications and mass media Bella Cherkesova and Maxim Parshin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Doreen Bogdan-Martin, ICANN Senior Vice President for Government and Intergovernmental Organization Engagement Mandy Carver, Founder and Director of DiploFoundation, as well as head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP) Jovan Kurbalija, Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) Milos Vagner and many other well-known Russian and foreign experts, representatives of government bodies, civil society, and the academic and technical communities. All of them noted the need to promote international cooperation in the sphere of internet governance and stressed the need to search for a global consensus to further develop the internet for the benefit of all humanity.

In conclusion of RIGF 2021, a special section was held dedicated to youth involvement in internet governance. The organizers and participants in the youth projects of the Coordination Center and the first Youth RIGF discussed possible engagement of young people in the active work in this area and described the Coordination Center’s youth projects.

In conclusion, Andrey Vorobyev said: “The 11th Russian Internet Governance Forum has come to an end, and I would like to thank everyone who stayed with us during these three days. First of all, I would like to thank our partners: the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media, ICANN, RIPE NCC, the Technical Center of Internet and the Kaspersky Lab, as well as information partners who cover everything that takes place at the forum. A big thanks to the Organizing Committee and the Program Committee: we have done everything to present different points of view at the forum. In the future, we will try to do everything in order to form the RIGF program within the multi-stakeholder approach. See you at other events on internet governance!”

General information partner: RIA Novosti

Strategic information partners: Interfax, Izvestia and Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

Digital information partner:

Information partners: Finmarket News Agency, Federal Press Russian Information Agency, Moscow Municipal News Agency, PRO BUSINESS television channel, INFOX Media Group, Vechernyaya Moskva newspaper, Open Systems Publishing, Iks Media; websites Mobile Telecommunications,,,,,,,,,, and; magazines ЦОДы.рф, PolitExpert, Vestnik Svyazi, CONNECT: The World of Information Technology, RSpectr, RUБЕЖ, BIT: Business & ICT, System Administrator, and Bestsellers of the IT Market; RUTUBE, and the UN Information Center in Moscow.