The Russian government intends to replace Wikipedia by Ripedia, a ‘national-level scientific, educational encyclopaedic portal’.
The corresponding instruction by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was published on August 25 on the official website of legal information in Russia.
The first signs of Russian authorities’ dissatisfaction with Wikipedia emerged at the beginning of 2015. Then Alexander Biserov, Deputy Head of Rosobnadzor, a state agency that controls the field of science and education, urged to bar access to Wikipedia saying that ‘the number of mistakes on it goes beyond all limits.
In August 2015, the influential Russian Society of Military History engaged in creating an alternative to Wikipedia – its members developed the project of Ripedia. In addition to the articles of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, the new resource is expected to contain information from the Russian Orthodox Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia of History. Vladimir Medinsky, Russia’s Culture Minister and Chairman of the Society, took charge of the project.
Another proof of its significant importance is the fact that Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko, Commumication Deputy Minister Alexei Wolin and representatives of the Ministry of Defense are at the helm of the working group.
As the last edition of the Great Soviet Encyclopaedia was completed in 1978 (its first volume was released in 1968), Ripedia could hardly boast of up-to-date information .