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Russia Threatens Wikipedia With Massive Fine Over ‘Inaccurate Information’

Russia Threatens Wikipedia With Massive Fine Over ‘Inaccurate Information’

The country is furious with website for posting 'illegal information' about their invasion in Ukraine.

Russia has vowed to fine Wikipedia more than AUD $64,000 over what it describes as 'inaccurate information' relating to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Roskomnadzor, Russia's Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, announced on Thursday (31 March) that it will fine the free online encyclopaedia 4 million rubles (£36,900/ AUD $64,525) due to its 'failure to delete' the information.

The fine comes after an article appeared on Wikipedia entitled 'The Russian Invasion of Ukraine (2022)'.

The article cites sources and data from the United Nations and countless Western media sources, and lists injuries and fatalities among both Ukrainians and Russians as a result of the war.

Wikipedia has been threatened with a fine for its information about Russia.

The now-tweaked version read, according to Newsweek: "As a justification for the invasion, Vladimir Putin stated the need to protect the Donetsk People's Republic, the Luhansk People's Republic and Russia itself, and also used the unsubstantiated claims that Ukraine is a neo-Nazi state."

Not long after Putin's forces invaded neighbouring Ukraine on February 24, Russia's media watchdog ordered independent media to remove any reports that described the conflict as an 'assault', 'invasion' or 'declaration of war'.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has instead dubbed the conflict a 'special military operation' to engage in the 'de-militarisation' and 'de-Nazification' of Ukraine.

In its statement about the fine, Roskomnadzor accused the Wikipedia page of containing 'false information on the subject of a special military operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in Ukraine aimed at misinforming Russian users'.

Wikipedia has already received two warnings from the Russian media censorship agency.

One of the warnings claimed the article contained 'inaccurate information' about Russia's 'special military operation' in Ukraine.

"In particular, in the article, the special military operation is called 'Russia's invasion of Ukraine', 'Russian aggression against Ukraine', 'Russian-Ukrainian war' and 'war'," the notice said.

The noticed also complained that data on 'numerous victims among the servicemen of the Russian Federation, as well as the civilian population of Ukraine, including children' were incorrect as it did not correspond with 'the official data published by the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation'.

Wikipedia, however, has remained steadfast despite the accusations and threats of a fine.

"As ever, Wikipedia is an important source of reliable, factual information in this crisis," the site said in a statement sent to The Verge in early March.

"In recognition of this important role, we 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.”

Shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine, Russian parliament passed a law that criminalises the distribution of 'fake news' relating to the country's military.

Those convicted could face up to 15 years in jail.

If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo. Chris Batson / Alamy Stock Photo.

Topics: Russia, Ukraine, News