Russian court fines Wikimedia Commons over illegal content

Russian court fines Wikimedia Commons over illegal content

The platform was fined 5 million rubles some $67,000 for illegal content related to the Ukraine conflict.

On Tuesday, a Moscow court imposed a fine on Wikimedia Commons, the operator of the Wikipedia platform. The foundation was found guilty of failing to delete articles deemed to be in violation of Russian law. The court imposed a fine of 3 million rubles some $40,200 on the platform after it did not delete five of the offending articles. Wikimedia's legal team had argued that those on the prosecution could have fixed the articles themselves if they believed they were violating Russian law.

If the prosecutor believes that something is wrong in these publications, he could have come and made edits, a lawyer said during the hearings, as quoted by RIA Novosti.

In a separate ruling on failure to delete an additional three articles, the same court imposed an additional fine of 2 million rubles some $26,800 on the platform. One was related to the Russian military and Ukraine conflict, while the other two contained information on making explosives.

Russia attacked its neighbor after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French Minsk Protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it plans to retake the two republics by force.