Apple Maps Angers Ukraine by Giving Crimea to Russia

Ian King
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Apple Maps Angers Ukraine by Giving Crimea to Russia

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vadym Prystaiko accused Apple Inc. of insensitivity for having some versions of its Maps application depict the Crimean peninsula as being part of Russia.

Prystaiko and the Ukrainian embassy in Washington asserted in a tweet directed at Apple that the area is under Russian occupation and its sovereignty hasn’t changed. The minister tried to present the situation in terms of how Apple might react if in a parallel situation.

“Imagine you’re crying out that your design & ideas, years of work & piece of your heart are stolen by your worst enemy but then smb ignorant doesn’t give a damn about your pain,” he tweeted. “That’s how it feels when you call #Crimea a (Russian flag) land.”

Apple didn’t respond to a request for comment. Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, prompting international sanctions. The Black Sea peninsula was shown as being part of Russia on Russian versions of the Apple map software used on the iPhone and iPad.

The company has brought its services into line with the requirements of Russian law, Vasily Piskarev, head of the Committee on Security and Corruption Control in Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, said in a statement on the chamber’s website. He received assurances about compliance from Apple’s representative in Russia at a meeting on Wednesday, he said.

The more widely used Google Maps from Alphabet Inc.’s Google, uses a dotted line to show the boundary between Ukraine and Crimea to its south, more tentatively placing the latter area inside Russia, in versions seen from the U.S. Google Maps uses dotted lines when national boundaries are unclear or disputed.

(Updares with Russian comment in fifth paragraph)

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