Tech giant Apple has found itself in the middle of an international dispute, after it referred to the annexed Crimean peninsula as part of Russia on its maps and weather apps.
BBC News reported Apple had succumbed to Russian demands to show the territory as part of Russia, in a move that has left some outraged.
“Crimea and Sevastopol now appear on Apple devices as Russian territory,” the State Duma said in a statement overnight.
Apple had been in discussions with Russia for some time over the issue and had hoped it would be able to show Crimea as “undefined territory”.
But according to the reports, this wasn’t good enough for Russia, which wanted to control the “sovereignty of our country from foreign interference”, according to Russian chairman of the committee on security and corruption Vasily Piskaryov.
“There is no going back,” Piskaryov said. “Today, with Apple, the situation is closed – we have received everything we wanted.”
According to BBC, the update is only visible on devices situated in Russia. Elsewhere in the world, Crimea is not labelled as Russian territory, as fellow tech giant Google does.
BBC News’s Moscow bureau senior producer Will Vernon shared an example.
Here is the proof! pic.twitter.com/xcsle001zc
— Will Vernon (@BBCWillVernon) November 27, 2019
Although Crimea was annexed from the Ukraine in early 2014, most of the international community, including the EU and the US, does not recognise Crimea as being part of Russia.
And Apple’s decision to bow down to Russian pressure has upset the Ukrainain community, with Ukraine’s foreign minister Vadym Prystaiko taking to Twitter to voice his despair.
“Let me explain in your terms, Apple,” he said.
“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. That’s how it feels when you call Crimea a Russian land.”
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