Long names sound nice, especially when combined with skillfully chosen middle names. But it is not customary for Russian people to call a child all the time with a long "full" name. For convenience, they are abbreviated to two-syllable or three-syllable names.
The generally accepted abbreviation of Russian names is traditionally considered a modification of the name by adding to the first syllable the "full" naming of the suffix -sh: Mikhail - Misha, Maria - Masha. Sometimes the suffix -sha is added to the first two syllables of the name, as in the names Aleksey-Alyosha, Natalia-Natasha. In this case, the first syllable can be "discarded": Lesha, Tasha. In the old days, it was believed that the suffix -sha indicates respect for the named. One could even find such unusual combinations for the modern ear as Kolsha (from Nikolay) or Tansha (from Tatiana).
The diminutive-affectionate suffixes -enk, -ochk were also traditionally used for the affectionate name, while the formation of "diminutive" names was carried out according to the same principle as in the previous example: Nikolay - Nikolenka, Kolenka; Elena - Elenochka, Helen. True, this did not make the name shorter.
You can also use the suffixes -ik or -chik added to the first word of the name: Yaroslav - Yarik, Leonid - Lenchik. As a rule, this method is relevant for male names, but you can also find a similar abbreviation in female names: Olga - Olchik.
In traditional Slavic names ending in -slav (Stanislav, Vyacheslav, etc.), the general abbreviation Slava is possible, but this to some extent deprives the name of its individuality, therefore, parents, as a rule, try to shorten such names in the previous way.
For feminine and a small number of masculine names, the traditional abbreviation method would be to add the ending -а or –я to the first syllable of the name, if the syllable ends with a consonant: Karina - Kara, Larisa - Lara, Olga - Olya, Nikita - Nika. And yet, such an ending is associated with the feminine gender, tk. most feminine nouns in Russian have this grammatical feature.
But it is better to avoid the suffix -k- when abbreviating names: it is subconsciously perceived as dismissive, turning the name into an offensive nickname: Sophia - Sonya, Ekaterina - Katka. Although some names formed with the help of this suffix sound cute and perky: Elena - Elena; Alena - Alena.
It is possible to reduce the "folk" form of the name and use it as a diminutive: Ksenia - Oksana - Ksana; Maria - Marusya - Russia.
As an abbreviated form, you can use the syllable of the name (most often the initial or second), repeated twice: Natalya, Tatiana - Tata; Louise - Lulu; Vavila - Vava; Lily - Lily, or slightly modified: Elena - Lyalya, Georgy - Goga.
Sometimes parents prefer to abbreviate names in the "Western" manner, using a foreign analogue of the name for the abbreviated name: Maxim, Maximilian - Max, Margarita - Margo, Elizaveta - Liz, Sofia - Sophie. Until recently, such abbreviations were perceived unusual, but now, with an abundance of unusual names, they are quite acceptable.