About Projekt Kateryna

1. Purpose

Overall political goal

Make the general audience aware of Ukrainian history, culture and language. Fight lack of education and knowledge, annihilate centuries of one-sided Russian propaganda, create understanding and public support for the Ukrainian nation, its people, its culture and deep relations to other European nations.


Provide high-quality information on Ukrainian history, culture, people and language where the free world is looking for it: On Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata, according to the rules and practices designed by the Wikimedia Foundation. Directly enable this in at least half a dozen languages and create good conditions for another dozen languages.

Why »Projekt Kateryna»?

The suggested name is a reference to the oil painting Катерина by Taras Shevchenko (1842) uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Катерина_(картина_Шевченка). Modelled after »Projekt Fredrika» (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Projekt_Fredrika), we suggest a female name to be picked (as history is full enough of men anyway).

We also explicitly suggest the spelling »Projekt Kateryna», to underline that English is only one out of many languages to be supported, and one whose transcription differs the most from the original Ukrainian language.

2. Problem definition

Overall problem definition

Even the best of the frequently used sources of neutral information – Wikipedia – lacks an objective picture of the suppressed Ukrainian nation. Descriptions in most languages are distorted by the long-term effects of Russian oppression during the Russian Empire and during Soviet times.

Example: The »Ukraina» article on svwp

The Swedish overall Wikipedia article Ukraina – arguably the single most influential description of Ukraine in Swedish – is heavily biased towards the Russian propagandistic description of Ukraine as “barely a state”.

It has a header “The Ukrainian nationalism during the 19th and 20th century”, without really describing it – except that it killed Jews. The header “Famine and industrialisation” happens to touch that “the Ukrainian culture blossomed during the 1920s with the approval of the Bolsheviks”, but does not describe it. And “The area became a national unity (partially coinciding with the language spoken in the area) only through the inception of the short-lived Ukrainian people’s republic (1918-21) and then again as a Soviet republic during the 20th century”.

What is not mentioned is a description of the nationalism, what it reacted against, who the Ukrainian authors and other actors were during the 1920s.

And going further back in history, there is no deep analysis of the battle of Poltava, no mentioning of the loyalties of Mazepa still causing controversies up to this day.

There is also no mentioning of the 1872 anti-Ukrainian legislation https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Емський_указ or other root causes of Ukrainian nationalism.

3. The opportunity

There is an awareness of the problem

While Russia’s version of history is still the prevalent default even in the German or French perception of history, the brutal war has opened the eyes for the educated audience: Perhaps the established truth isn’t true, after all? There is a willingness to hear a different story.

There is a platform to spread the story

As »Ukraine’s version of history» is based on scientific reality, Wikipedia provides the perfect platform for spreading it. Wikipedia is multi-lingual, highly credible and omnipresent.

The platform even scales to AI

Wikipedia and in particular Wikidata is heavily relied upon by ChatGPT and other modern AI. This means that the version of reality which is in effect in Wikipedia and Wikidata is the one that affects public perception for many years to come.

There are new, good sources

The Yale lectures by Timothy Snyder (autumn 2022) are available as transcripts and eminently quotable as well as highly educational. They are nearly devoid of Russian bias, and highly credible in the eyes of all relevant audiences.

4. Content


In Wikipedia, articles about people are the most popular ones, based on how frequently they are read. It is thus important that relevant Ukrainian authors, musicians, painters, scientists, philosophers, politicians, military officers, and other notable individuals have good articles, good portraits or photos, and thorough metadata on Wikidata. It is also important that they are portrayed as Ukrainians, and that their names are correctly transcribed into various languages (not merely English), including recorded pronunciation guides.

Cities, areas, places

Places is another frequently read category of articles on Wikipedia. There are good guidelines for what constitutes a good article.

Of special relevance for Ukrainian places is the proper transliteration from Ukrainian to the language in question. These language communities have strong opinions on tradition; for example, in Swedish, the best-known places with an “established” spelling diverging from current Ukrainian-Swedish transliteration rules are Krim (not Krym), Kiev (not Kyjiv), Odessa (not Odesa) and Gammalsvenskby (an original Swedish name). Most if not all other names can use current Ukrainian-Swedish rules.

Ukrainian history and culture

The key articles on Ukrainian history and culture deserve the most attention. This includes not just textual contents, but maps, pictures, other illustrations, links, categories, navigation bars, and other Wikipedia concepts that form the overall representation of the Ukrainian nation on Wikipedia.

5. A role model: Projekt Fredrika

Swedish Finland on Wikipedia

Projekt Fredrika was established 2017 in order to improve the coverage of Swedish Finland and Swedish in Finland on Wikipedia, in Swedish and other languages.

The project is organised through a project page in Wikipedia, currently in Swedish, Finnish, English, German, French, Russian, and Estonian (not yet Ukrainian). It is supported through the registered association Projekt Fredrika rf (see https://projektfredrika.fi/).

The project name

The project is named after Fredrika Runeberg, born Fredrika Tengström, a Finland Swedish novelist, journalist and the wife of Finland’s national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg (a contemporary of Taras Shevchenko, with a similar role towards Finland’s culture). She was a pioneer of Finnish historical fiction and one of the first female journalists in Finland.


  • raised Wikipedia content about the Nagu region to encyclopedia quality level, published a hard cover edition with over 1200 articles on Nagu

  • improved several Finland Swedish themes

  • ditto for Helsingfors (Helsinki), Raseborg (Raasepori), Ingå (Inkoo) and several other smaller places

  • compared material of the Society of Swedish Literature in Finland and incorporated it into Wikipedia: two encyclopedias with thousands of entries, digital historical photo archive with over 20 000 images, complete list of over 1000 publications

  • over 45000 wikidata edits

  • thousands of Wikipedia edits in 40 languages

  • tens to hundreds of new articles created

6. The team

Kaj Arnö, Project initiator

See Wikipedia article (in English, German, Swedish, Finnish).

Finland Swedish IT-entrepreneur and columnist. He is the former Vice President of the MySQL Community at MySQL AB, Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation, co-founder of MariaDB Corporation Ab and the current CEO of the MariaDB Foundation. Wikipedia used to run on MySQL Server, now on MariaDB Server.

Board member of Wikimedia Finland.

Has written over 20 articles on Ukraine (https://kaj.arno.fi/ukraina/), most of which appeared in Finland’s oldest newspaper Åbo Underrättelser. One of them (about Lviv 2018) was written for Yle (“Finland’s BBC”) and got translated (without asking permission) by inosmi.ru into Называйте его как хотите, Львив, Львов или Лемберг: в этом украинском городе меньшинства всегда жили бок о бок (with over 100 comments and nearly 50.000 reads).

Speaks five languages (Swedish, German, English, Finnish, French) and reads five more (Norwegian, Danish, Italian, Spanish, Dutch). Has elementary knowledge of Ukrainian (see Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VarF_VVckEE – Ukrainian starting at minute 6:40 – Виступ: Українська мета – наша мета!).

Has written the original Python code for Fredrikas lupp (https://github.com/projekt-fredrika/Fredrikas-Lupp) and Voronoi (https://github.com/kajarnocom/voronoi), two programs analysing Wikipedia contents (the second of which is named after Вороний Георгій Феодосійович).

Lena Jefimenko, Ukrainian Project Lead

Olena Yefimenko. Master of Economics. Project Manager. Since 2008, the founder, owner and CEO of a chain of restaurants. Organizer of the “Festival of goodness” Kyiv 2015. Completed a one-year course at the Kharkiv School of Architecture. Speaks 4 languages. She is currently studying Polish and Swedish, in parallel with her studies at the Faculty of Philosophy of Karazin Kharkiv State University. Lena is learning Polish, as the closest relative of Ukrainian, an integral part of Ukrainian history, and one of many glues that ties Ukraine together with the rest of Europe.

Robert Silén, Technical Project Lead

Robert Silén. Master of Science 2010. Robert has worked with Kaj Arnö in various roles for the past ten years. He was part of Projekt Fredrika from the beginning in 2017. His Wikipedia handle Robertsilen is behind most of the edits done as part of Projekt Fredrika.

Robert’s action bias approach complements Kaj - and this combination has proven critical to walk the talk. Robert speaks three languages fluently and grasps several more. He does basic editing, programming, etc, enough to scale whatever impact we are making with data or themes that we are working with.

7. Contact details

Email: projektkateryna at gmail dot com

Projekt Kateryna is registered as a non-profit association in Finland, ID 3384751-5, see details at ytj.fi.