KOI8 remains much more commonly used than ISO 8859-5, which never really caught on. Another common Cyrillic character encoding is Windows-1251. In the future, both may eventually give way to Unicode.
KOI8 stands for Kod Obmena Informatsiey, 8 bit (Russian: , 8 ) which means "Code for Information Exchange, 8 bit".
The KOI8 character sets have the property that the Russian Cyrillic letters are in pseudo-Roman order rather than the natural Cyrillic alphabetical order as in ISO 8859-5. Although this may seem unnatural, it has the useful property that if the eighth bit is stripped, the text can still be read (or at least deciphered) in case-reversed transliteration on an ordinary ASCII terminal. For instance, "? " in KOI8-U becomes rUSSKIJ tEKST ("Russian Text") if the 8th bit is stripped.
The following table shows the KOI8-U encoding. Each character is shown with its equivalent Unicode code point.
Letter Number Punctuation SymbolOther Undefined Differences with KOI8-R (non-Russian letters)
Although RFC 2319 says that character 0x95 should be U+2219 (?), it may also be U+2022 (o) to match the bullet character in Windows-1251.
Some references have a typo and incorrectly state that character 0xB4 is U+0403, rather than the correct U+0404. This typo is present in Appendix A of RFC 2319 (but the table in the main text of the RFC gives the correct mapping).
Kornai, Andras; Birnbaum, David J.; da Cruz, Frank; Davis, Bur; Fowler, George; Paine, Richard B.; Paperno, Slava; Simonsen, Keld J.; Thobe, Glenn E.; Vulis, Dimitri; van Wingen, Johan W. (1993-03-13). "CYRILLIC ENCODING FAQ Version 1.3". 1.3. Archived from the original on 2017-02-18. Retrieved .