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Putin proposes a 'reliable' Russian Wikipedia

November 6, 2019

Days after a new law in Russia came into effect meaning Russian government authorities can isolate its own internet, the Russian president said he wanted a Russian version of Wikipedia with "reliable information."

Putin speaking in front of a red backdrop
Image: Imago Images/ITAR-TASS/M. Metzel

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed replacing the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia Wikipedia with a Russian version.

"It's better to replace it with the Big Russian new encyclopedia in electronic form…here it will be in any case, reliable information in a good modern form" the RIA Novosti news agency reported Putin saying on Tuesday.

The Russian President was speaking at a meeting of the Russian Language Council, held at the Kremlin.

The Kremlin announced in September in a draft law that it plans to spend ₽1.7 billion for the creation of the Russian version of the online Wikipedia during the years 2020-2022.

Read more: Could digital freedom in Ukraine become a casualty of Russia’s info wars?

The publishing house which publishes the paper copy of the Russian Encyclopedia will receive the money to create the electronic version.

Russia's own internet

Putin's statement follows just a day after a new law went into effect meaning Russian authorities can disconnect its internet from the rest of the world's — forming a nationwide intranet.

The country also plans to create an independent Russian Domain Name System (DNS) in 2021. This will mean that the Russian government would have control over which sites users are directed to.

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Kate Martyr
Kate Martyr Editor and video producer at DW's Asia Desk and News Digital