It is the largest Wikipedia written in any Slavic language, surpassing its nearest rival, the Polish Wikipedia, eightfold by the parameter of depth. In addition, the Russian Wikipedia is the largest Wikipedia written in Cyrillic or in a script other than Latin script. In April 2016, the project had 3,377 active editors who made at least five edits in that month, ranking third behind the English and Spanish versions.
Difficult issues are resolved through the Arbitration Committee, which handles content disputes, blocks users or prohibits certain users from editing articles on certain topics.
Administrators (currently 84) are elected through a vote; a minimum quorum of 30 voters and 66% of support votes are required if the request is to be considered successful. Administrators who have become inactive (i.e. have not used administrative tools, such as "delete" or "block" buttons, at least 25 times in six months) may lose their privileges by an Arbitration Committee decision.
The Russian Wikipedia was created on 20 May 2001 in the first wave of non-English Wikipedias, along with editions in Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, German, Esperanto, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.
The first edit of the Russian Wikipedia was on 24 May 2001, and consisted of the line "Россия – великая страна"("Russia is a great nation"). The following edit changed it to the joke: "Россия — родина слонов (ушастых, повышенной проходимости — см. мамонт)" ("Russia is the motherland of elephants (big-eared, improved cross-country capability, see Mammoth.")