Russia to sanction Wikimedia for “false” information on the conflict in Ukraine
LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s communications watchdog said on Wednesday it would take action to sanction the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, for violating Russian laws relating to the conflict in Ukraine.
In a statement, Roskomnadzor said Wikipedia still hosts “prohibited materials, including fakes about the conduct of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine.”
On Telegram, Anton Gorelkin, deputy chairman of the Russian parliament’s information policy committee, said that links to Wikipedia from search engines would be accompanied by a warning warning users against violations of the Russian law by Wikimedia Foundation.
Roskomnadzor clarified that these measures will remain in place until the Wikimedia Foundation fully complies with the current legislation.
Russia has introduced sweeping new laws on sharing information about the conflict in Ukraine after the Kremlin ordered the deployment of tens of thousands of troops to the country on February 24, in what it calls “a special military operation” aimed at “demilitarizing and denazifying” Ukraine.
On June 13, the Wikimedia Foundation appealed a Moscow court ruling fining it 5 million rubles (89,201.21 euros) for refusing to remove Russian-language Wikipedia articles about the conflict. Ukrainian, including “The Russian Invasion of Ukraine”, “War Crimes During the Russian Invasion of Ukraine” and “Boutcha Massacre”.
With much of Russia’s independent media shut down after the invasion of Ukraine, Wikipedia – which is written and edited by volunteers in over 300 languages - has become one of the last verified sources of information on the war accessible to the Russians.
(Reporting Reuters; French version Dina Kartit, editing by Kate Entringer)
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