Vladimir Putin’s ego regularly gets boosted by Russian State TV, but apparently, that’s no longer good enough. Gone are the days when he could go shirtless horseback riding and then have his butt kissed, as one of his underlings previously discussed, while being called a “superman.” And with Russia essentially in financial tatters and Putin no closer to winning his war on Ukraine, the dude presumably could use a pick-me-up.
He was not going to receive any head pats (or on-demand removals of Russia-Ukraine war articles) from Wikipedia, obviously, but Putin can now surf the next best thing while being too manly to hide in a bunker. A damn-near clone of Wikipedia (actually called “Ruwiki”) now exists, and this one will gladly omit articles that Putin wouldn’t like. That includes mentions of the Ukraine invasion, although the Telegraph notes that the vast majority is flat-out cut-and-pasted from regular old Russian Wikipedia. Business Insider also summarizes the major difference, which is the complete non-mention of anything that paints Putin in a negative light:
The “criticism” section of Ruwiki’s page on Putin — one that runs roughly 2,500 words on Russian Wikipedia — has been truncated to a few paragraphs, while retaining some sympathetic comments from a US academic.
And while there is no page on Russia’s 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there is one using the Kremlin-approved term “special military operation.”
Ruwiki’s page on Ukraine makes no mention of the war.
The new wiki-esque site is run by Vladimir Medeyko, who previously worked for Wikipedia. Medeyeko, according to the Telegraph, founded the site with the intention of adhering to Russia’s “draconian” laws concerning media coverage of the president. In other words, the resulting vibe might be like Russian State TV in text form.
Well, now we know even more about why (beyond allegedly extreme paranoia) Putin stopped surfing the internet. Now, he can read it on a cell phone (which he also reportedly avoids doing) and (again) pretend that he’s a big, virile man, like he never invaded Ukraine to prove anything.