Don Wikimedians User Group


Don Wikimedians User Group (Донская группа викимедийцев) — is a group of people participating in Wikimedia Movement, interested in the Don region and Don Cossack culture. Don region is a historical and geographical region in the South of Russia.

Based on the intention to participate fully in the global Wikimovement and contribute to its main objective—the free dissemination of knowledge in all languages of the world—the initiative group of editors of Don region decided to register itself as a user group.

Don regionEdit

Don Region

Don region is a historical region in the Southern Russia, along the middle and lower Don. The region, best known as a home of Don Cossacks, has a long and rich history; since the ancient times, it had been populated by Scythians and other nomadic peoples, as well as ancient Greeks (who created there a colony named Tanais), Venetian and Genoan merchants (in the Late Middle Ages), Ottoman Turks (who built a fortress in Azov) and, since the 16th century, Cossacks, who created the Don Cossack Host, which by the 19th century became the largest and the most significant of the Cossack hosts. Don Cossacks played important and often crucial role in all the important military campaigns of Russia, colonization of Siberia, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and also in popular uprisings such as Bulavin Rebellion and Pugachev's Rebellion. Local writer Mikhail Sholokhov produced an epic Nobel Prize-winning novel And Quiet Flows the Don about the lives and struggles of Cossacks during the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the Russian Civil War. Memory of Cossack history is still alive in the region, and many people seek to revive and preserve Don Cossack traditions and other traditions of the Don region.

Now, most of the region is covered by Rostov Oblast of Russia, with an area of 100,800 km2 and population of 4,277,976 (as of 2010). Its administrative center is Rostov-on-Don, which is also the center of the Southern Federal District and, with more than 1 million inhabitants, one of the most prominent economical and cultural centers of Russia. Other significant cities include Taganrog, Shakhty, Volgodonsk and the Cossack capital Novocherkassk.


IX All-Russian WikiConference, organized in 2010 in Rostov-on-Don with participation of Wikimedia activists from Don region
  • Promotion and dissemination of free knowledge about Don region and Cossack culture.
  • Promotion of Wikimedia projects in Don region.
  • Engagement of new people into the Wikimedia Movement.
  • Cooperation with local authorities, organizations and individuals to receive grants and other materials to promote free knowledge.


  • To promote Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects within Don region;
  • To organize article and photo contests, marathons and thematic weeks;
  • To collaboratively improve the quality of Wikimedia project content through edit-a-thons, workshops, educational programs, wiki-seminars, wiki-clubs and more;
  • To support any Wikimedia-oriented events or organizations operating within Don Region;
  • To establish a sense of community within our group.


Don wikimedian holds RuNet prize. 2015

A group of users, who wished to promote Wikipedia in Don region, appeared in Russin Wikipedia in 2009. To achieve this, they cooperated with Wikimedia RU to organize the all-Russia WikiConference in Rostov-on-Don in May 2010. There were more than 40 attendees.

In 2011 Don Wikipedians participated in the next WikiConference in Voronezh, and all other WikiConferences since then.

In 2013 Wikimedia RU in partnership with Rostov-on-Don regional educational organization Association of Honorable Citizens, Mentors and Talented Youth, with participation of Don Wikimedians, organized a contest devoted to Don region, «Gallery of Fame». Due to the contest about 1700 articles were created and more than 400 free media files were uploaded.

In 2014 this experience was used to organize the second stage of the contest, that resulted in more than 6000 articles and more than 4000 media files.

In 2016 there was organized a large geographical contest devoted to the Don region, «Know Russia. Start with Don»; more than 3000 articles were created and more than 2000 photos of the region were uploaded.

In 2017 there was the second stage on this contest, and the geographic component was supplemented with a new nomination dedicated to literature of Don; more than 2000 articles were created in different languages. A distinctive feature of the contest was translation of the contest page in 8 languages, to help Wikimedians from all over the world to participate the contest.

In 2017 there was a round table «Information volunteering: a factor for rise of human capital and increase of tourist appeal of the territories» with Don Wikimedians. During the event the guests summarized series of educational projects: "Know Russia. Start with Don" (1st and 2nd stages) and discussed a role of information volunteering as a factor of rise of human capital.

Also in 2017 there was a seminar in Rostov-on-Don under Open Library project, which was devoted to promotion of free knowledge, open access, free licenses and WikiSource and Wikimedia Commons projects.

This 8-year experience led to a decision to create a user group in order to make this work more systematic and effective. The decision was formalized at the wiki-meetup in Rostov-on-Don on 25 November 2017.

2017 eventsEdit

24-11-2017 Open Library Project introduced in Rostov-on-DonEdit

On 24 November 2017 in members of the Don Wikimedians User Group together with Wikimedia RU introduced the Open Library project to the local librarians' community in the Don State Public Library. The project's objective is to maximize open access to digital archives of libraries of the Russian Federation. Don State Public Library is the oldest library in the Don region and the entire Southern Russia, it stores more than 5 million items.

27-11-2017 Open Library Project introduced in Taganrog, Chekhov's birthplaceEdit

On 28 November 2017 representatives of the Don Wikimedians User Group together with Wikimedia RU held a seminar about the Open Library project in the Chekhov Library in Taganrog. Seminar was attended by representatives of all the libraries of Taganrog city. Wikimedians discussed the problem of open access to library archives and presented the Open Library project which aims to help solving the problem of open access to digital archives of libraries.

19-12-2017 Wikimeetup. "Discover Russia. Start from Don – Round 2" contest awards ceremonyEdit

On 19 December 2017 during the forum of honorary citizens of the Rostov oblast, members of the Don Wikimedians User Group who participated in the "Discover Russia. Start from Don – Round 2" article contest were awarded with prizes. Yelena Davydova, who won prizes in 2 nominations, received her winner certificates in the presence of more than 200 people at the stage of the Gorky Drama Theatre. Together with her, other Wikipedians and the contest jury members were present at the stage. The audience applauded to the Wikimedia volunteers.

2018 eventsEdit

26-01-2018 Graduates and Mentors of the Rostov oblast in WikipediaEdit

On 26 January 2018 a start of the international article-writing contest Learn about Russia. Graduates and Mentors was announced. The competition is dedicated to creating and improving Wikipedia biographic articles about mentors and graduates of Soviet and Russian educational institutions. Don Wikimedians User Group together with public organizations of Rostov oblast will award special prizes to 3 authors of the largest number of best articles about mentors and graduates of education institutions that were or are placed in the Don region.

30-01-2018 Members of the Don Wikimedians User Group visited the Civic Chamber of RussiaEdit

Wikimedia projects editors met with members of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation for the first time in history on 30 January 2018. Participants of the meet-up discussed their activities, described to each other their projects and outlined the further ways of cooperation. Don Wikimedians User Group was represented by Dmitry Zhukov, who told to the members of the Civic Chamber about Wikipedias in various languages of Russia. He noticed the significance of the Russian Wikipedia for the post-Soviet countries: residents of these countries not only read Russian Wikipedia, but also actively contribute to it. According to Dmitry Zhukov, Russian language remains to be one of the means of international communication and is used by Wikimedians at the international level.

28-02-2018 Lecture in the Gorky Volgograd Oblast LibraryEdit

A seminar was held in the Gorky Library in Volgograd city during the Project trends: from ideas to realization conference. Representatives of the librarians community of Volgograd oblast were told about the importance of open access to information and specifics of usage of open licenses in library activities. Wikimedians told to the librarians that Russian libraries store huge amount of documents in public domain (e. g. their copyright has expired), and large regional libraries can store unique materials absent due to one or another reason in the largest national libraries of Russia. Currently, these materials are almost inaccessible to most of the Russian speakers in Russia or abroad, and their publication in open access could broaden the horizons of the Russian cultural space.

19-05 World Cup 2018 information volunteers olympicsEdit

On May 19 2018 in Rostov-on-Don, in Southern Federal University premises (Philology and journalism faculty) there was held a first Russian olympics for pupils completely devoted to Wikipedia editing. Joint efforts by Don wikimedians user group, Ministry of Education of Rostov region, and several NGOs resulted in large-scale event, that was attended by 17 school teams from Rostov-on-Don and Rostov region. In general more than 150 new users contributed to Wikipedia. The organizes tried to reach two aims: to test a new approach to learn foreign languages by translation of Rusian Wikipedia articles into other language editions of Wikipedia with further improvements in direct contact with native speakers working in those Wikipedias, and to add as more articles about Rostov region tourist attractions into these Wikipedias, that should attract more tourists before anticipated flow of visitors to World Cup 2018. As a result, more than 200 articles were written and nore that 150 new uses joined Wikipedia.

26-05 Know Russia. Graduates and mentors contest results.Edit

On May 26 2018 there were decided winners in large scale Know Russia. Graduates and mentors contest, that was organized in several language editions of Wikipedia. The contest is devoted to writing and improving bio articles about mentors and graduates of Soviet and Russian universities and other institutes. It was organized by Wikimedia RU, Don wikimedias user grous and Don regional NGO "Association of citizens of honor, mentors and gifted youth". The result was 1775 biographic articles created in 5 official UN languages, plus in German and Japanese. Also educational institutions and NGOs with help of Rostov region authorities created a lot of reliable sources that was used by the contestants. Most articles – 430 – were about Don region inhabitants. The contest was supported by the Committee for science, education and culture of Council of Federations, Ministry of Foreing Affairs of Russia, governors of several Russian regions.

31-05 Don wikimedians user group participated pan-european Wikimedia CEE Spring 2018 contestEdit

In march 2018, Don wikimedians user group decided to participate annual pan-european Wikimedia CEE Spring 2018 contest, when durin 2 months wikimedians from Central and Eastern Europe write articles about each others' cultural and historic heritage. Hence there was formed a words list table to write articles about Don region. Also wikimedians from Don wrote articles about heritage of other contesting countires in Russian. As a result, 150 Don-related article were created. The experience was found quite positive and further cooperation within Wikimedia CEE decieded.

13-06 "How to write a Wikipedia article in English, German, or French in 8 steps" webinar for pupilsEdit

On June 13 2018 Dmitry Zhukov of Don Wikimedians user group drove an interactive webinar how to write a Wikipedia article on Rostov region touristic attraction in English, German, or French in 8 steps. It was attended by 45 putipls from schools with enchanced studying of foreign languages from all over the Rostov region. The idea of the webinar came because some settlements are quite distant from Rostov-on-Don, 360 km and more. The webinar took about 3 hours, it was Wikipedia editing under mentorship. The result was 20 full-fledged articles in English and German. Also Pupils got practical experience of editing Wikipeda and knowledge about Wikimedia movement and projects.

30-07 Know Russia. World Cup 2018 cities and regions.Edit

On July 30 2018 there were decided winners in Know Russia. World Cup 2018 cities and regions contest, devoted to wring articles in all languages and downloading free images about objects and attractions of Russian regions participating in World Cup 2018. The visionaries of the contest were Don wikimedians user group and the Public chamber member Leonid Shafirov; it was organized by Wikimedia RU. There were special prizes for authors writing about Don region atrractions. The result is 2200 articles of attractions of these regions, and more 16 800 photos of these regions. 361 articles in 8 languages were written about Rostov region attractions. There were 64 authors due to information campaign, that included seminars (including one in Rostov-on-done) and webinars before the contest.

1-11 Know world. Start with twin townsEdit

On November 1 2018 there was started a Know world. Start with twin towns contest, devoted to articles on attractions of cities and regions for Russia and their foreign sister or partner territories. It was organized by Don Wikimedians user group and Wikimedia RU, with support of Rostov region NGOs. There is a special Rostov region prize. There will be winners who wrote most articles in two categories – one category in Russian, the second one in other languages. The contest page was translated in 9 international lagnuages. Several seminars and webinars are planned.

12-12 The digital openness of objects of Russian cultural heritage by regions rating createdEdit

In December 2018 Don wikimedians decided to create a The digital openness of objects of Russian cultural heritage by regions rating, in which Russian regions are weighted according to their openness and participating in Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikivoyage. Its aim is to allow volunteers to work more effectively with local authorities, and should lead to signifcatnt help to Wikimedians, namely for Wiki Loves Earth and Wiki Loves contests. Also it should help to persuade regional authorities to release the information fulfilling the law and other obligations.

30-12 Certificates for Don wikimedians from the Ministry of Education of Rostov oblastEdit

In the New Year's eve Yelena Davydova and Gennady Lipunov from the Don Wikimedians User Group were awarded certificates by the Ministry of Education of Rostov oblast.

2019 eventsEdit

2-03 Discover the world. Start with the sister cities — Part 2Edit

On 2 March 2019 Discover the world. Start with the sister cities — Part 2 contest started, organized by Wikimedia RU, Don Wikimedians User Group and the Association of honorary citizens, mentors and gifted youth with support of Leonid Alexandrovich Shafirov, member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. Contest participants wrote 2213 articles about attractions of Russian cities and their sister cities, as well as uploaded 27 600 free illustrations of these attractions. In the first nomination, the largest number of articles (148) were dedicated to attractions of sister cities of Rostov oblast, such as Finnish city Kajaani, Scottish Glasgow, German Dortmund, Turkish Istanbul, Bulgarian Pleven and hero city Odessa.

05-04 Don Wikimedians User Group takes part in the Wiki-Spring 2019 international contestEdit

In 2019 Don Wikimedians for a second time participated in the Wiki-Spring 2019 international contest, where wikipedians from Central and Eastern Europe write articles about cultural and historical heritage of each other. In March 2019, a list of 100 articles about the cultural heritage of Don region was significantly reworked and expanded. At the same time, Don wikimedians wrote about 60 articles in Russian language about cultural heritage of other countries participating in the contest. As a result of the contest, more than 150 articles in foreign languages about the Don region were created. Author of the largest number of articles from the Don region got an opportunity to visit CEE Meeting 2019 in Belgrad.

8-04 Lecture in the Don State Public LibraryEdit

On 8 April 2019 employees of the Don State Public Library were lectured about the Wikimedia projects and importance of their cooperation with education institutions, about free knowledge and their popularization in Russia. Lecture was held by Wikimedia RU director Vladimir Medeiko and Don Wikimedia User Group leader Dmitry Zhukov. The event started with a greeting speech by the library deputy director Anna Vasilyevna Zhelyabovskaya. In the first part of the lecture Vladimir Medeiko told about transition of works into a public domain, in the second part Dmitry Zhukov spoke about libraries granting free access to their digital archives.

8-04 Don wikimedians wiki-trip to the Rostselmash plantEdit

On 8 April 2019 in Rostov-on-Don members of the Don Wikimedians User Group made a wiki-trip to the Rostselmash machine-building plant which is the leading Soviet and Russian producer of agricultural equipment. The trip started at the Rostselmash museum, where examples of the plant's production since the beginning of it's history were exhibited. After the museum, participants of the wiki-trip visited various workshops of the Rostselmash plant, where they made a large number of photos of agricultural equipment to illustrate Wikipedia articles. After the wiki-trip, there was a wiki-meetup where wikipedians decided to make excursions to large manufacturing plants of the Don region a tradition.

1-08 Lecture in the Anapa Central LibraryEdit

On 1 August 2019 there was a presentation in the Anapa Cental Library which introduced Wikimedia projects to the representatives of librarian community of Anapa city. The lecture was given by the leader of the Don Wikimedians User Group Dmitry Zhukov and Stanislav Alexandrovich Kozlovsky from Wikimedia RU. Attendees of the event were told about the importance of online access for libraries, archives, museums and other cultural institutions. It was noticed that currently Wikimedia projects are the most popular non-commercial internet platform in the world used by 1.6 billion people, and cultural institutions which cooperate with these projects contribute to the development of the humanity as well as obtain a unique opportunity to increase by orders of magnitude number of people who know about them and use them.

2-09 Discover Russia. Start from Don. Attractions, life and work of Chekhov, Sholokhov and others writersEdit

On 2 September 2019, a contest started in Russian Wikipedia and wikipedias in other languages, organized by the Don Wikimedians User Group and entirely dedicated to the literary heritage of the Don region. More than 400 articles about Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Sholokhov, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Anatoly Kalinin, Vitaly Zakrutkin and other writers of the region were created, and more than 1000 free images related to their work were published in Wikipedia. Among others, contestants produced articles about pre-revolutionary Don Cossack writers, about Sholokhov's and Solzhenitsyn's short stories, dramas and stories. International contest drew participants from Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine. More than 200 articles were written in Armenian and Belarusian languages. Most of the images were photos of Chekhov's places of Taganrog.

01-10 International congress of volunteers of culture and mediaEdit

On 1-4 October 2019 Rostov-on-Don hosted the International congress of volunteers of culture and media. The main theme of the event was cultural, and especially literary heritage of the Don region. The opening ceremony was held in the Rostov State Musical Theatre. Main part of the ceremony was awarding certificates to volunteers who won various competitions. Among those who received awards there was Yelena Davydova, one of the most active members of the Don Wikimedians User Group, who edits Wikipedia as БИБЛИОТЕКАРЬ. She won the aforementioned "Discover Russia. Start from Don. Attractions, life and work of Chekhov, Sholokhov and others writers" contest. Wikimedians had their own section on this congress in the Don State Public Library: "Creating the encyclopedia together: millions will read". Dmitry Zhukov moderated the section and told about Wikipedia, Alina Vozna about Wikicommons, Dmitry Rozhkov about Wikivoyage, Aleksandr Krasotkin about Wikinews. The most significant result of the congress was that wikimedians had an opportunity to tell about four different Wikimedia projects.

7-10 Start of the "Wiki loves Caucasus" international contestEdit

In March 2019, in Berlin, during the Wikimedia Summit, Don wikipedian Dmitry Zhukov and a member of the Georgian User Group Mekhman Ibragimov decided to organize an international contest "Wiki loves Caucasus" in Autumn 2019. Later, on Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm, representatives of Armenian and Azerbaijani Wikipedias and Wikipedians of North Caucasus User Group joined the dialogue. The contest started on 7 October 2019; it's participants created 1016 articles in 10 languages of the world. In it planned to make the contest annual.

11-10 CEE Meeting 2019Edit

Three members of the usergroup (JukoFF, GennadyL and Visem) took part in CEEM-2019.

Wikimedians visited local monuments and churches, such as the Church of St. Sava, as well as buildings affected by the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. After returning home, GennadyL created several articles about Serbia and uploaded photos from Belgrade to the Wikicommons.

22-10 First textbook on Wikipedia editing in Russian languageEdit

In Spring 2019 Dmitry Zhukov from the Don Wikimedians User Groups in collaboration with Reda Kerbouche from Wikimedia Algeria started working on the first Russian-language textbook on Wikipedia editing. This work, as well as search for funding, took half a year. Later the project was joined by Wikimedia RU members, and in Autumn 2019 the book named "Wikipedia. Course for beginners" (Википедия. Вводный курс) was published as both printed book and e-book under the CC-BY SA 3.0. license. It is available on Wikimedia RU official site in PDF format. The book targets students of higher education institutions of Russia and provides the basic information needed for editing Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. Authors of the textbook are experienced Russian wikipedians: Wikimedia RU members, adiminstrators of Russian and other Wikipedias, international Wikimedia movement activists. "Wikipedia. Course for beginners" was created as a part of the "Graduates and mentors of Russian universities" project. It was presented on 16 February 2020 on the All Scientific Forum 2020 in Moscow.

5-12 First massive open online course "Text creation in Wikipedia" in Russian languageEdit

In December 2019 as a part of the "Know Russia: school of information volunteers in the cultural sphere" Don Wikimedians User group developed and organized online course "Text creation in Wikipedia". This course became the first massive open online course on Wikimedia projects editing in Russian. As a part of this course on the online training platform there were created educations videos, prepared a complex of materials for self-education and held practical online courses about article creation in Wikipedia. More than 300 Russian-speaking users from Russia and other countries of the world passes this course. Their final task was creation of a Wikipedia article in Russian language about one of the natural or cultural monuments of Rostov oblast. Each one of them chose a theme for their future article from lists of monuments of the Rostov oblast on Wikivoyage and then gradually created the article during the course. Overall, more than 50 articles about monuments of Rostov oblast were created thanks to the online course.

Criteria for joining the groupEdit

Any user, regardless of his language, can join the user group if he shares the goals of the Wikimedia Movement (promotion and dissemination of free knowledge) and has an interest in the Don region theme. Active participation in the WMF projects is desirable, but not mandatory. In order to join, a new member has to send a request for joining by e-mail or contact any group member using any other mean of communication.

Contact informationEdit

  • JukoFF, Russian, English, Ukrainian / Dmitry Zhukov (Е-mail:
  • Altes, Russian, English / Alexander Teslyuk (Е-mail:
  • Be nt all, Russian, Ukrainian
  • GennadyL, Russian, Ukrainian / Gennady Lipunov


Interested in participatingEdit

  • JukoFF (talk) 23:42, 26 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Altes (talk) 01:25, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • GennadyL (talk) 10:30, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • LIBRARIAN (talk) 14:30, 27 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Be nt all (talk) 07:52, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Being a descendant of Orenburg Cossacks, I support creation of this user group. But my full participation can be only after I visit Rostov Oblast. I hope, it will be during the FIFA World Cup 2018, where I'm planning to visit one of the games of Uruguay national team.--Soul Train (talk) 13:27, 22 December 2017 (UTC)
  • --Erokhin (talk) 11:02, 23 December 2017 (UTC)
  • --Frhdkazan (talk) 10:01, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
  • --Рөстәм Нурыев (talk) 10:47, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
  • --Visem (talk) 14:23, 18 January 2018 (UTC)
  • --Sergasl (talk) 19:04, 08 April 2019 (UTC)
  • --JustApex (talk) 20:30, 30 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Niklitov (talk) 15:28, 15 March 2020 (UTC)