Wikiswords ceremony takes place in Kyiv

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8 июня 2021 года

В этой статье упоминается Фонд Викимедиа, какой-либо из его проектов или люди, имеющие к ним отношение. Викиновости — один из проектов Фонда Викимедиа.

On Saturday, June 5, 2021, Oleg “Raider” Kovalishin was decorated with a Wikisword badge “for contribution to Ukraine's future victory in the information war.” The event took place during the Forum of Ukrainian Wikipedians in Kyiv - it became the first non-virtual award in Ukraine for activists who have been editing free online encyclopedia Wikipedia for many years.

Both the presentation of the award and the forum was initiated by Institute for National Development public organisation. In addition to Nikolai Kravchenko (the chief of the organisation), the jury also included Alexander Alferov, the coordinator of Memory of the Nation historical and memorial initiative, and Andrey Romaschenko, the head of the School of Young Leaders named after Aksyon and Khoma veteran educational project (the school is named in honor of Azov battalion volunteers Oleg Aksenenko and Andrei Snitko, who were killed in Ilovaisk in the summer of 2014).

The first winners of the Wikisword award were:

  • Yury Peroganich ― one of the founders of the Wikimedia movement in Ukraine;
  • Andrey Bondarenko ― the initiator of Wikipedia musical projects;
  • Alexey Yurchenko ― co-founder of Wikimedia Ukraine, a veteran of the Russian-Ukrainian war;
  • Evgeny Buket ― founder of "Wiki Loves Earth" international photo contest;
  • Igor Turzhansky ― founder of Wiki Week project;
  • Viktor Semenyuk ― administrator of Wikipedia Ukraine and organiser of numerous wiki expeditions;
  • Vladimir Beletsky ― one of the oldest and most productive authors of Wikipedia Ukraine;
  • Leonid Panasyuk ― one of the most productive authors of Wikipedia Ukraine, who created the article about Oleg Kovalishin.

Three laureates were absent from the ceremony: Igor Turzhansky, Vladimir Beletsky and Leonid Panasyuk.

The award was named after Oleg "Raider" Kovalishin (his wiki-nickname coincides with his front-line call sign) - a wikipedian, volunteer of the Donbass battalion, who was killed in the battle near Karlovka on May 23, 2014 - on a very symbolic day as May 23 is The Day of the Heroes. A separate award will be given to the family of the deceased warrior.

Alexander Alferov, who knew Oleg Kovalishin personally, spoke in detail about "Raider's" life before Wikipedia, about his active participation in the movement of historical reenactors in the early 2000s and his activities to propagandise Ukrainian patriotic topics there.

Nikolay Kravchenko, the initiator of the Forum of Ukrainian Wikipedians said:

«All wars of our time are hybrid wars. The more informational the era becomes, the more important the unarmed component in the war gets. Victory in people's heads can bring Victory at the front faster than actual hostilities. Therefore, today's couch troops are troops too. It is a pity that the high command does not attach due importance to the informational part of the war in the system of state security. The state still does not believe that an information front is a front too. The state of affairs here is much worse than that at the front line of the United Forces Operation. This fact should prompt us to attack in the field of information, rather than to whining. To win, Ukraine needs whole teams to work in a coordinated effort. Therefore, we create informational volunteer battalions! We start mobilisation on the information front from Wikipedians!»

The participants of the forum held a round table discussion of the following topics: "Ukrainian Wikipedia ― an encyclopedia for the world about Ukraine and for Ukraine about the world", "Wikipedia as a field of information war", "Competitions in the Ukrainian Wikipedia and other ways to attract new participants", "authoritative sources ”,“ cooperation within the wikisociety ”, “development of educational, cultural and other topic-based wikiprojects”.

Yuri Peroganich urged to create new websites that would be similar to Wikipedia. As an example of such activity, he referred to the local history project titled "Encyclopedia of Nosovshchyna." He noted that today Wikipedia plays a role similar to that of Prosvita society in late 19th ― early 20th centuries.

Administrator of the Ukrainian Wikipedia Anatoly Lutsyuk (Yakudza) joined the forum via a video link from Odessa. He spoke about information wiki wars from the standpoint of the admin corps.

Evgeny Buket urged authors to join the collective preparation of the book about the history of the wiki movement in Ukraine, which should be prepared for the 20th anniversary of Ukrainian Wikipedia in 2024. Daniil Koval, the director of Orientir publishing house, who also took part in the forum, offered future authors assistance in publishing the book when it is ready.

The Ukrainian Wikipedians Forum became the first offline wiki event in Kyiv since the beginning of the pandemic and was held in compliance with all safety regulations. The forum participants set out a hope that the presentation of the Wikisword award named after Oleg "Raider" Kovalishin "for contribution to Ukraine's future victory in the information war" and the Forum of Ukrainian Wikipedians would become an annual event with other interested people and organizations joining it in the future.