Ukraine asks ICANN for sanctions targeting Russia. ICANN refuses!

Deputy Prime-Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo FEDOROV, sent a letter to Goran Marby, ICANN President and Chief Executive Officer, asking for sanctions targeting the Russian Federation.

Here is the letter from Mykhailo FEDOROV to ICANN:

“I am sending you this letter on behalf of the People of Ukraine to ask you to address an urgent need to introduce strict sanctions against the Russian Federation in the field of DNS regulation in response to its acts of aggression towards Ukraine and its citizens.”

On the 24th of February 2022 the army of the Russian Federation engaged in a full scale war against Ukraine and breached its territorial integrity, leading to casualties among both military staff and civilians.

By proceeding to a so-called “military operation” aiming at “denazifying” and “demilitarizing” Ukraine under the pretext of its own national security, the Russian Federation breached numerous provisions of International Law. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a clear act of aggression and a manifest violation of Article 2.4 of the UN Charter, which prohibits the “use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State”. Also Russia is using it’s weapon to target civilian infrastructure such as residential apartments, kindergartens, hospitals etc., which is prohibited by the Article 51(3) of Additional Protocol I and Article 13(3) of Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions.

These atrocious crimes have been made possible mainly due to the Russian propaganda machinery using websites continuously spreading disinformation, hate speech, promoting violence and hiding the truth regarding the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian IT infrastructure has undergone numerous attacks from the Russian side impeding citizens’ and government’s ability to communicate.

Moreover, it’s becoming clear that this aggression could spread much further around the globe as the Russian Federation puts the nuclear deterrent on “special alert” and threatens both Sweden and Finland with “military and political consequences” if these states join NATO. Such developments are unacceptable in the civilized, peaceful world, in the XXI century.

Therefore, I’m strongly asking you to introduce the following list of sanctions targeting Russian Federation’s access to the Internet:

1. Revoke, permanently or temporarily, the domains “.ru”, “.pQ” and “.su”.
This list is not exhaustive and may also include other domains issued in the Russian Federation.

2. Contribute to the revoking for SSL certificates for above mentioned domains

3. Shut down DNS root servers situated in the Russian Federation, namely:
Saint Petersburg, RU (IPv4
Moscow, RU (IPv4, 3 instances)

Apart from these measures, I will be sending a separate request to RIPE NCC asking to withdraw the right to use all IPv4 and IPv6 addresses by all Russian members of RIPE NCC (LIRs – Local Internet Registries), and to block the DNS root servers that it is operating.

All of these measures will help users seek for reliable information in alternative domain zones, preventing propaganda and disinformation. Leaders, governments and organizations all over the world are in favor of introducing sanctions towards the Russian Federation since they aim at putting the aggression towards Ukraine and other countries to an end. I kindly ask you to seriously consider such measures and implement them as quickly as possible. Help to save the lives of people in our country.”

This paper-pushing puppet Goran replied and of course said he and ICANN will take no action:

Dear Deputy Prime Minister,
I am writing in response to your letter received 28 February 2022. First, let me express my personal concern for the well-being of your citizens in the midst of this conflict. ICANN and its global community are aware of and concerned about the terrible toll being exacted against your

You have asked that ICANN target Russia’s access to the Internet by revoking specific countrycode top-level domains operated from within Russia, arranging the revocation of SSL certificates issued within those domains, and shutting down a subset of root servers located in

ICANN is an independent technical organization that manages the Internet’s unique identifiers. ICANN is a facilitator of the security, stability, and resiliency of these identifiers with the objective of a single, global, interoperable Internet. In our role as the technical coordinator of
unique identifiers for the Internet, we take actions to ensure that the workings of the Internet are not politicized, and we have no sanction-levying authority. Essentially, ICANN has been built toensure that the Internet works, not for its coordination role to be used to stop it from working.

As you know, the Internet is a decentralized system. No one actor has the ability to control it or shut it down. ICANN’s primary role, through the functions of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), is to ensure the consistent and unique assignment of Internet identifiers in line with global policies. These policies were developed by a multistakeholder community that includes technical experts, businesses, academics, civil society, governments, and other stakeholders who worked collaboratively to solve policy and technical challenges through
consensus. It is a model that has allowed the Internet to flourish over decades, and this broad and inclusive approach to decision-making fosters the global public interest and makes the Internet resilient against unilateral decision-making.

I want to specifically address your requests, from both the technical and policy perspective:

● For country-code top-level domains, our work predominantly involves validating requests that come from authorized parties within the respective country or territory. The globally agreed policies do not provide for ICANN to take unilateral action to disconnect these domains as you request. You can understand why such a system cannot operate based on requests from one territory or country concerning internal operations within another territory or country. Such a change in the process would have devastating and permanent effects on the trust and utility of this global system.

● The root server system is composed of many geographically distributed nodes maintained by independent operators.

● We do not have the ability to revoke the specific SSL certificates for the domains you mentioned. These certificates are produced by third-party operators and ICANN is not involved in their issuance.

As you have said in your letter, your desire is to help users seek reliable information in alternative domain zones and prevent propaganda and disinformation. It is only through broad and unimpeded access to the Internet that citizens can receive reliable information and a diversity of viewpoints. Regardless of the source, ICANN does not control Internet access or content.

Within our mission, we maintain neutrality and act in support of the global Internet. Our mission does not extend to taking punitive actions, issuing sanctions, or restricting access against segments of the Internet – regardless of the provocations. ICANN applies its policies consistently and in alignment with documented processes. To make unilateral changes would erode trust in the multistakeholder model and the policies designed to sustain global Internet interoperability.

ICANN stands ready to continue to support Ukrainian and global Internet security, stability, and resiliency.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the OnlineDomain.com blog in 2012.


  1. ICANN rarely does the right thing, so why would they start now!

  2. All you have to do is cancel that show Dancing With The Stars, cause you know both sides have a cost prohibitive obsession with it.

  3. If there was a domain name system and ICANN during WW2, would ICANN allow the domain names and websites of Hitler’s Germany to operate, or would it take action against them?

  4. Typical response from ICANN, I expected nothing less.

    All it tells me is that ICANN board needs to be booted out.

    I will say no more because this website operates a form of pro Russian censorship in it’s moderation.

  5. Oh and when you block my messages I will just publish them on other sites naming you as a collaborator

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