The problems with access to Wikipedia began in Russia

Russian Internet users encountered difficulties when trying to access the site

Problems with the accessibility of the largest online encyclopedia began around 4 am on July 23 and affected a number of countries around the world. However, if access to Wikipedia in general has been restored after a few hours, some Russian users are still experiencing difficulties, even with a VPN.

GlobalCheck analysts supposedthat the Russian authorities have started to block Wikipedia at the TSPU (Technical Threat Countermeasures) level. All telecommunications operators were obliged to install them in their networks as part of the law “on sovereign Runet”, which entered into force in 2019. With the help of TSPU, Roskomnadzor blocks websites, individual pages and resources, and has the authority to manage traffic in Russia.

Another version, as GlobalCheck writes, is this Wikipedia itself has blocked some Russian IP addresses (for example, to combat a DDoS attack) and has still not stopped blocking them.

A study by ZaTelecom found that about a quarter of users have difficulty accessing Wikipedia. Anomalies were noted among customers of Rostelecom, MegaFon and MGTS. At the same time, the site does not open in the territories of Ukraine occupied by the Russian Federation.

Russian authorities have not yet commented on the situation. There is no Wikipedia in the register of blocked resources of Roskomnadzor since Sunday evening.

In April, the government of the Russian Federation, on behalf of the head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Maksut Shadayev, promised not to block Wikipedia, which after the outbreak of the war was marked in domestic search engines as violating the law. The American Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, was fined over 10 million rubles by Russian courts for refusing to remove articles about the war in Ukraine.

The head of the Presidential Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeyev, called for Wikipedia to be blocked, according to whom the resource contains “many distortions”, as well as the deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, Oleg Matveyev, who called Wikipedia “a weapon in the information war”.

Russian authorities create three analogues of Wikipedia. One, based on the Great Russian Encyclopedia, is being developed by the pro-Kremlin association Znanie. At the end of December it had about 100,000 articles. In April, the head of the Ministry of Digital Development, Maksut Shadayev he saidwho doesn’t know how finished the project is. Earlier, the minister announced that he planned to launch it “at the beginning of 2023”.

Last year, some of the former editors of the Russian-language Wikipedia fired another equivalent of it is “Runiversalis”. State Duma deputy Anton Gorelkin called it an encyclopedia in which “traditional values ​​are respected.” The creators of the project said that they are adding articles from the Russian-language section of Wikipedia to Runiversalis, “cleaning them of propaganda and harmful content.”

The launch of the third project, called “Ruviki”, is scheduled for June. Its creator, the former general director of the Russian legal entity Wikipedia (Wikimedia Ru), Vladimir Medeiko, said that the resource will initially contain all 1.9 million Russian-language Wikipedia articles in a “modified” form.


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