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26 Apr, 2022 15:23

Russia fines Wikipedia

The platform was fined a total of 5 million rubles (some $67,000) over illegal content related to the Ukraine conflict
Russia fines Wikipedia

A Moscow court imposed the first-ever fine on Wikimedia Commons, the operator of the Wikipedia platform, on Tuesday. The foundation was found guilty of failing to delete articles deemed to be in violation of Russian law. Most of the content related to what was classified as the spreading of misinformation about the Russian military and its actions during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

The court imposed a fine of 3 million rubles (some $40,200) on the platform after it failed to delete five offending articles. Wikimedia's legal team had argued that the those on the prosecution could have fixed the articles themselves if they believed them to be violating Russian law.

“If the prosecutor believes that something is wrong in these publications, he could have come and made edits,” a lawyer said during the hearings, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

Later in the day, the same court imposed an additional fine of 2 million rubles (some $26,800) on the platform in a separate ruling over failure to delete an additional three articles. One was also related to the Russian military and Ukraine conflict, while the other two contained information on making explosives.

Russia attacked its neighbor following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered Minsk Protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.