MOSCOW: Russia is to set up a new online site for its national encyclopaedia after President Vladimir Putin said Wikipedia was unreliable and should be replaced.

The move will ensure people can find “reliable information that is constantly updated on the basis of scientifically verified sources of knowledge”, a government resolution said.

Putin last month proposed replacing the crowd-sourced online encyclopaedia Wikipedia with an electronic version of the Great Russian Encyclopaedia — the successor to the Soviet Union’s main encyclopaedia.

John Lubbock, a communications coordinator for Wikimedia, said it was unclear how Putin actually planned to improve on Wikipedia.

“Russian Wikipedia is the 7th biggest language version of the site, with over 1.5 million articles created by 2.6 million users, all published on Open Licenses,” he wrote on Twitter.

The government will also set up a national research and education centre for the Great Russian Encyclopaedia, the resolution, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, said.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2019