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Russian Court Fines Wikipedia Again for Article About War in Ukraine

A picture taken on April 15, 2022 in Moscow shows the Wikipedia logo on a tablet screen.
A picture taken on April 15, 2022 in Moscow shows the Wikipedia logo on a tablet screen.

A Russian court on Thursday fined the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, two million rubles ($24,510) for not deleting what it said was "banned content" related to the Russian military, Interfax reported.

It said this was the seventh fine imposed on Wikimedia in 2023 for not removing prohibited information. The fines now total 8.4 million rubles.

The latest penalty was for not removing an article about a military unit that contained "classified military information" about its location, composition and equipment, including

information related to the progress of what Russia calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

Wikimedia did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It has previously said information that Russian authorities complained about was well-sourced and in line with Wikipedia standards.

Wikipedia is one of the few surviving independent sources of information in Russian since a state crackdown on online content intensified after Moscow invaded Ukraine last year.

"We are not blocking Wikipedia yet, there are no such plans for now," Interfax quoted digital affairs minister Maksut Shadaev as saying last week.

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