Russia Considers Blocking Wikipedia for Promoting VPN Use

Russia may block access to Wikipedia due to an article recommending VPN use to bypass internet restrictions, aligning with a new law against VPN promotion, according to Deputy Chairman Anton Gorelkin.

In a recent announcement that could reshape the landscape of internet freedom in Russia, Anton Gorelkin, the deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, stated that Wikipedia might soon be blocked in Russia.

This potential blockade comes under a new legislative move aimed at banning the popularization of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), a technology often used to circumvent internet censorship.

The controversy centers around a specific Wikipedia article that not only details methods to bypass internet blocking but also actively encourages users to utilize these techniques.

Gorelkin pointed out that the content of this article squarely falls within the parameters set by Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal executive body responsible for overseeing media, for content blocking.

Moreover, Gorelkin highlighted that Roskomnadzor has several other grievances with Wikipedia, some of which have already been legitimized through court rulings. He suggested that there are sufficient legal grounds for the blockade of Wikipedia.

The primary challenge now, he noted, is to implement this block without causing significant disruption to Russian internet users. To this end, Gorelkin reassured that most of the valuable content on Wikipedia has been replicated and adapted to meet encyclopedic standards on Russian platforms such as “BRE”, “Ruviki”, and “Runiversalis”.

In anticipation of this move, a technical solution is being developed to redirect users from Wikipedia links to these Russian alternatives.

This system is under development by the Regional Public Center for Internet Technologies (ROCIT), aiming to promote a seamless transition for users seeking access to encyclopedic content.

This announcement comes on the heels of Roskomnadzor’s recent actions to block VPN service advertisements on the internet, which started on March 1. This broader crackdown on VPN services and internet freedom tools underscores Russia’s increasing efforts to control and monitor the digital landscape within its borders.

The potential blocking of Wikipedia, a global repository of free knowledge, marks a significant step in the country’s internet censorship endeavors, raising concerns among advocates of internet freedom and open access to information.


Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of