Apple accused of 'appeasement' for listing Crimea as Russian territory on its apps

Friday 29th November 2019 00:45 GMT

The region was controversially annexed by Russia in 2014 but is still recognised by the majority of nations as part of Ukraine.

When viewed from Russia, the peninsula is now shown as Russian territory on Apple Maps and the Weather app.

It also categorises Crimea as part of Russia when users search in the Apple Weather app.

The change was confirmed by the Russian parliament's lower house, which wrote in a statement that the former "inaccuracy" had been "finally removed" and the apps were now complying with Russian law.

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko blasted the decision, telling Apple to "stick to high-tech and entertainment".

"Global politics is not your strong side," he added.

Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation and former chess world champion Garry Kasparov also called it "unacceptable appeasement".

In a tweet, he wrote: "Apple changing its maps inside Russia to make Crimea part of Russia is a huge scandal.

"Regionalisation of facts is unacceptable appeasement.

"Software is soft power. American tech companies should stand up for the values of innovation that made their success possible, not bow down to dictators for a little extra cash they don't even need.

"Call Putin's bluff. Where is the backlash?

"American consumers have the power to change the world for the better by protesting against such things, from Crimea to Hong Kong. Stop letting tech companies & tyrants have it both ways."

Apple has not yet commented on the decision.

The tech giant had been in talks with Russia for months and hoped to keep Crimea as an undefined territory.

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