There's nothing like a good old bit of Cold War nostalgia, combined with a suitably scary international incident, to focus our attention on the real world, and the rapidly unfolding, or toppling, situation in Ukraine clearly has tingled our collective nape, as people searched out the players and places involved in what could be the most destabilising event since the Yugoslav Wars. The Winter Olympics continued to haunt the list as well, no doubt buoyed by those same events. That said, nothing could stem our outpouring of affection for the beloved comedian Harold Ramis, whose death managed to top the week in the face of those international concerns.
For the full top 25 list, plus an explanation as to any exclusions, see WP:TOP25.
For the week of 23 February to 1 March, the 10 most popular articles on Wikipedia, as determined from the report of the 5,000 most viewed pages, were:
Nothing guarantees Wikipedia attention like a sudden and unexpected death, and Ramis's death at only 69 appeared to come out of the blue. People rocked in sudden recognition of the director who gave us such beloved comedies as Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation and Groundhog Day, though most probably mourned him as the guy who played huggable nerd Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters.
Things are moving fast in the country, from protest to revolution to armed hostility. It has now reached the point where anything I say will probably be obsolete by the time this is published. But it's fair to say things are getting pretty hairy; the last time Vladimir Putin asserted his manhood to his near neighbours, the conflict lasted a week. Here's hoping a similar outcome prevails now.
I'm giving this the benefit of the doubt for now; there's no reason for people not to be interested in the thing off of which they are currently reading. However I suspect that it might follow IPv6 to the Exclusions list before too long.
Some consider this head of the Sinaloa Cartel to be the most powerful drug lord of all time; even surpassing the infamous Pablo Escobar, so much so that Chicago police named him public enemy number one—the last person so named was Al Capone, and he lived in that city. His arrest on 22 February may be a harbinger of better things. Or not—the last time he was in prison, he just bribed the guards and walked out.