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Russia Threatens to Fine Wikipedia (Approximately) $49,000 Over Ukraine Invasion Articles

Moscow is mad that Wikipedia articles don’t parrot its version of events

Angry that Wikipedia articles about the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine don’t parrot Kremlin propaganda, Russia on Thursday threatened the user-edited website with fines amounting to a whopping 4 million rubles.

Or rather, thanks to the severe devaluing of the ruble brought on by worldwide sanctions imposed on Russia after it invaded, approximately $49,000 USD.

In a statement posted online, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media censorship authority, complained that Wikipedia contains “unreliable socially significant materials, as well as other prohibited information,” presumably referring to largely accurate articles about the unprovoked invasion.

Roskomnadzor said it contacted Wikipedia administrators and demanded they “immediately remove inaccurate information on the subject of a special military operation of the RF Armed Forces in Ukraine, aimed at misinforming Russian users.” If not, the statement said the site will be required to pay the ₽4 million.

Wikipedia representatives have not commented on Russia’s demand that it fork over about 0.049% of it’s total endowment of $100 million. But in a statement issued March 3, the Wikimedia Foundation, which manages Wikipedia, said in response to earlier Russian censorship demands that it “will not back down in the face of efforts to censor and intimidate members of our movement. We stand by our mission to deliver free knowledge to the world.”

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