Why Wikipedia’s Millionth Russian Page Is Worth Celebrating


In the early hours of 11 May, a volunteer somewhere wrote the millionth substantive page on the Russian-language edition of Wikipedia. Crossing the 1,000,000-page mark is mainly a symbolic one, an aesthetically and cognitively pleasing number for us ten-fingered mammals, but it seems as good a time as any to take stock of the importance of Russian Wikipedia, the only major version of the encyclopedia serving a readership that does not live in a liberal democracy.

Firstly, we need to acknowledge that the Russian-language section of Wikipedia is a roaring success. In terms of size, Russian is the sixth largest edition of the online encyclopedia (measured by number of content pages, excluding redirects etc), outdone only by Western European languages. In terms of traffic, Russian is now the third most accessed (measured in views per hour), only the English and Spanish sites are busier. In both cases, Russian…

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