The Rutians were a spacefaring humanoid race from the planet Rutia IV. They remained unaligned, despite a long history of trade relations with the Federation, and had yet to achieve a unified planetary government by 2366. (TNG: "The High Ground")

Female Rutians were characterized by light-red hair with a dark streak running through the right side of it while male Rutians often had dark hair with a lock of grey hair running through it.

In 2366, Ansata terrorists kidnapped Doctor Beverly Crusher and Captain Jean-Luc Picard, demanding that a Federation mediator be sent to Rutia to settle the arguments. The leader of the Ansata at the time was Kyril Finn, who was killed during an attempt to rescue the hostages.

The Rutians had organized security forces to guard against the Ansata group. (TNG: "The High Ground")

The Rutians also had at least some warp-powered vehicles. In 2368, a Rutian archaeological vessel was in the vicinity of Dulisian IV. (TNG: "Unification II")