"Imagine you're crying out that your design and ideas, years of work and piece of your heart are stolen by your worst enemy, but then somebody ignorant doesn't give a damn about your pain," said Ukraine's foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on November 28, 2019

Apple Maps has backed Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, declared illegal by Ukraine and many world leaders, in a move which has angered the country.

However, Apple users in Crimea and Ukraine do not see the same results on their phones as Russian users, BBC News reported.

Reuters reporters in Moscow who typed the name of the Crimean provincial capital Simferopol into Apple Maps and Weather apps on Wednesday saw it displayed as “Simferopol, Crimea, Russia”. The Russian spelling of Crimean place names are also shown.

Apple Maps and Weather apps elsewhere, including in Ukraine’s capital Kiev and in Crimea itself, saw locations in Crimea displayed without specifying which country they belong to.

The State Duma, the Russian parliament’s lower house, said in a statement: “Crimea and Sevastopol now appear on Apple devices as Russian territory.”

This has upset Ukraine.

“Let me explain in your terms, Apple,” Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko said on Twitter. “Imagine you’re crying out that your design and ideas, years of work and piece of your heart are stolen by your worst enemy, but then somebody ignorant doesn’t give a damn about your pain,” he said.

apple Crimea Ukraine russia

Russia’s military forces annexed Crimea from Ukraine when masked troops invaded and occupied key Crimean locations, including the Parliament, airports and military bases in February 2014 after the Ukrainian revolution. Ukraine and many world leaders condemned the annexation and consider it to be a violation of international law and Russian-signed agreements.

In 2016, UN General Assembly reaffirmed non-recognition of the annexation and condemned “the temporary occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine—the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol”.

Vasily Piskaryov, chairman of the Duma security and the anti-corruption committee, said Apple had complied with the Russian constitution.

He said representatives of the company were reminded that labelling Crimea as part of Ukrainian territory was a criminal offence under Russian law, according to Interfax news agency.

“There is no going back,” Mr Piskaryov said. “Today, with Apple, the situation is closed – we have received everything we wanted.”

He said Russia was always open to “dialogue and constructive co-operation with foreign companies”.

The technology company has not yet commented on the decision.

The BBC does not show Crimea as part of Russia on its maps, but uses a dotted line to mark disputed territory.