For fear of imminent censorship, the Russians have started archiving and downloading Wikipedia articles en masse.

In the midst of the war against Ukraine, more and more platforms are banned by the Kremlin, reports


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Since 2019, the online encyclopedia has come under pressure from the Russian telecommunications regulator.

The site is regularly accused of misinformation, especially on articles related to Ukraine.

Recently, the Kremlin promulgated a law obliging residents to comply with certain instructions, in particular the ban on using the word “war” to refer to the Ukrainian conflict.

400% increase in downloads

Fearing that their access to Wikipedia would disappear, the Russians took action.

All articles translated into Russian (1.8 million articles) were downloaded en masse.

This represents 29 gigabytes of data.

The number of downloads jumped 400% between March and January, according to archive and download organization Kiwix.

These Wikipedia page downloads would currently represent 42% of Kiwix traffic compared to only 2% in 2021, according to director Stéphane Coillet-Matillon.

The latter also specifies that the figures available to him do not take into account the diverted means of connection.

These downloads could therefore actually be much more numerous than that.

Despite the rather saving initiative of the Russians, downloading unfortunately does not make it possible to perpetuate the existence of these pages in the event of censorship.

It also does not ensure the updating of content or access to external sources.


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