Russian Wikipedia

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Commercial? Charitable
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Internet encyclopedia project
Registration Optional
Available in Russian
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Creative Commons ShareAlike License 3.0
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Launched 20 May 2001

The Russian Wikipedia (Russian: Ру́сская Википе́дия) is the Russian language edition of Wikipedia. It has over 1,242,000 articles. It was founded on 20 May 2001. By April 2015 it had become the 7th largest Wikipedia by the number of articles. It has the 5th-largest number of edits.

It is the largest Wikipedia written in any Slavic language, surpassing its nearest rival, the Polish Wikipedia, eightfold by the parameter of depth.[1] In addition, the Russian Wikipedia is the largest Wikipedia written in Cyrillic[2] or in a script other than Latin script.


Difficult issues are resolved through the Arbitration Committee, which handles content disputes, blocks users or prohibits certain users from editing articles on certain topics.[3]

Administrators are elected through a vote; a minimal quorum of 30 voters and 66% of support votes are required if the request is to be considered successful. Administrators who have become inactive (i.e. have not used administrative tools, such as "delete" or "block" buttons, at least 25 times in six months) may lose their privileges by an Arbitration Committee decision.[4]


Celebration logo for 500.000 articles plays a pun as "half a lemon" means "half a million" in Russian jargon.
Awards of RuWiki. "Golden site" prize (2007) and four Runet Prizes (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010)

The Russian Wikipedia was created on 20 May 2001 in the first wave of non-English Wikipedias, along with editions in Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, German, Esperanto, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.

The countries in which the Russian Wikipedia is the most popular language version of Wikipedia are shown in red (CIS).[5]

The first edit of the Russian Wikipedia was on 24 May 2001, and consisted of the line "Россия — великая страна" ("Russia is a great nation"). The following edit changed it to the joke: "Россия — родина слонов (ушастых, повышенной проходимости — см. мамонт)" ("Russia is the motherland of elephants (big-eared, improved cross-country capability, see Mammoth.")[6]

For a long time development was slow (especially after some participants left for WikiZnanie), but in the 12-month period between February 2005 and February 2006 it surpassed nine editions in other languages — the Catalan, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Finnish, Norwegian, Chinese, Esperanto and Danish Wikipedias. In 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010[7] the Russian Wikipedia won the "Science and education" category of the "Runet Prize" (Russian: Премия Рунета) award, supervised by the Russian government agency FAPMC.[8] In 2014, the presidential library of Russia announced that it would create an 'alternative Wikipedia' with 'detailed and reliable' information about Russia. 50,000 books and archival documents from 27 libraries have been handed over to assist in the establishment of the alternative Wikipedia.[9]


As of 1 June 2012, some of the biggest categories (which contain more than 5,000 articles) in the Russian Wikipedia are:[10]

10,340 articles contain material from the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary.

More than 11,000 articles were translated from the English Wikipedia.


In addition to common[which?] Wikipedia namespaces, the Russian Wikipedia has three custom ones - "Incubator" (# 102-103) - which is used as a training camp for new users and their first articles, "Project" (# 104-105) - for Wikipedia projects and "Arbitration" (# 106-107) - for arbitration requests.


In 2015, Roman Leybov, a professor at University of Tartu, in an interview mentioned that the articles related to humanities in Russian Wikipedia are of considerably inferior quality compared to English Wikipedia, and some articles even deteriorate with time. He suggested that this effect is possibly due to the lack of educated users in the project.[11]


Number of Russian Wikipedia articles in 2005-2010 (thousands).
Russian Wikipedia logo on 11 May 2013
  • The main page was created on 7 November 2002[12]
  • On 30 December 2004, the 10,000th article was created.
  • On 23 December 2005, the 50,000th article was created.
  • On 16 August 2006, the 100,000th article was created.
  • On 29 November 2006, Russian Wikipedia received National Runet Award on Educational section.
  • On 10 March 2007, the 150,000th article was created.
  • On 4 September 2007, the 200,000th article was created.
  • On 27 November 2007, Russian Wikipedia received National Runet Award on Educational section.
  • On 17 March 2008, the 250,000th article was created.
  • On 18 July 2008, the 300,000th article was created.
  • On 22 January 2009, the 350,000th article was created.
  • On 16 June 2009, the 400,000th article was created.
  • On 25 November 2009, Russian Wikipedia received National Runet Award on Science and Education section.[13]
  • On 25 February 2010, the 500,000th article was created.
  • On 8 October 2010, the 600,000th article was created.
  • On 12 April 2011, the 700,000th article was created.
  • On 10 December 2011, the 800,000th article was created.
  • On 8 September 2012, the 900,000th article was created.[14]
  • On 11 May 2013, the 1,000,000th article was created.[14]
  • On 27 March 2014, the 1,100,000th article was created.


Russian Wikipedia Main Page during the 10 July 2012 blackout.

On 10 July 2012 Russian Wikipedia closed access to its contents for 24 hours in protest against proposed amendments to Russia's Information Act (Bill No. 89417-6) regulating the accessibility of Internet-based information to children. Among other things, the bill stipulates the creation and country-wide enforcement of blacklists, which would block access to forbidden sites on the territory of Russia. Several aspects of this amendment drew criticism from various civil rights activists and Internet providers. In particular, the blacklist inclusion criteria were characterized as "too vague" and "paving the way for Internet censorship".[15]

Supporters of the amendment stated that it is aimed only at widely prohibited content such as child pornography and similar information, but the Russian Wikimedia chapter has declared that conditions for determining the content falling under this law will create a thing like the "great Chinese firewall". They further claimed that existing Russian legal practice demonstrates a high likelihood of a worst-case scenario, resulting in a country-wide ban of Wikipedia.[16][17] The second and the third readings of the law were held in the State Duma on 11 July; no essential corrections were introduced. The law will come into force after three readings in the State Duma, one reading in the Federation Council and presidential approval.[18]

On 10 July, Nikolai Nikiforov, Russian Minister for Telecommunications and Mass Media announced in his Twitter account, that the organization of the List of the prohibited websites (that was sited on the Law Project No. 89417-6) will be suspended until 1 November 2012.[18][19] On the same day Yelena Mizulina, a Duma deputy and the head of the subcommittee which sponsored the law, said that the blackout is an attempt to blackmail the Duma and was sponsored by the "pedophile lobby".[20]

Russian Wikipedia blacklisted[edit]

On 5 April 2013, it was confirmed by a spokesperson for the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media that Wikipedia had been blacklisted over the article 'Cannabis Smoking' on Russian Wikipedia.[21][22] On 31 March 2013 the New York Times reported that Russia was beginning 'Selectively Blocking [the] Internet'.[23] However, access to Wikipedia was never actually blocked in Russia.[clarification needed]


  1. ^ All Wikipedias ordered by number of articles
  2. ^ List of Wikipedias given in decadic logarithm
  3. ^ (Russian) ru:WP:Arbitration Committee
  4. ^ (Russian) ru:WP:Administrators (rus)
  5. ^ Erik Zachte (14 November 2011). "Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report - Wikipedia Page Views Per Country - Trends". Wikimedia Statistics. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  6. ^ В русской Википедии появилась 200-тысячная статья (in Russian). 4 September 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Номинанты и Лауреаты 2010 года". Премии Рунета. Retrieved 25 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Главная премия российского интернета стала государственной (in Russian). 29 August 2005. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Russia plans alternative version of 'Wikipedia'". Reuters. Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Most linked categories
  11. ^ Усыскин, Лев (5 June 2015). "Википедия — знакомая и неизвестная". Гефтер. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Базовая статья". Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  13. ^ Номинанты Премии Рунета — 2009. Интернет-проекты (in Russian)
  14. ^ a b "Русский раздел Википедии преодолел рубеж в 1 миллион статей". (Сервисные интернет технологии). 11 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013. 
  15. ^ "Russian Lawmakers Set to Debate Internet Blacklist". RIA Novosti. 6 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Забастовка Википедии на русском языке". 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Russian Wikipedia goes dark in protest at censor law". BBC News. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Wikipedia down in protest in Russia". Euronews. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Николай Никифоров". Retrieved 25 March 2015. 
  20. ^ Доброхотов, Роман; Никита Лашук; Маргарита Белодедова (10 July 2012). Елена Мизулина: Википедия – прикрытие педофильского лобби (in Russian). Retrieved 12 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Russia May Block Wikipedia Access Over Narcotics Article". RIA Novosti. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  22. ^ "Russian media regulator confirms Wikipedia blacklisted". Russia Beyond the Headlines. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  23. ^ Andrew E. Kramer (31 March 2013). "Russians Selectively Blocking Internet". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 

External links[edit]