Apple appears to have changed its apps to show the annexed Crimean peninsula as part of Russian territory on Apple Maps and Apple Weather but only for users in Russia. Users outside of Russia see Crimea as not being a part of any country. The change was made to satisfy Russian politicians who have requested that Crimea shows as a part of Russia.
Reuters reporters in Moscow who typed the name of the Crimean provincial capital Simferopol into Apples Maps and Weather apps on Nov. 27 saw it displayed as “Simferopol, Crimea, Russia.” Users elsewhere–including in Ukraines capital Kyiv and in Crimea itself–see locations in Crimea displayed without specifying a country.
The BBC reported that Apple had been holding talks with Russia for several months on how Crimea should appear on Apples apps. Russias lower chamber of parliament, the State Duma described the way Crimea was shown before the change as “inaccuracy,” says BBC.
According to the statement posted on the State Dumas website, the Chairman of the Committee on Security and Corruption Control, Vasilii Piskarev, met with Daria Ermolina, who represents the interests of Apple in Russia, on Nov. 27. The Apple representative informed the Chairman that the inaccuracy had been removed.
“Piskarev noted that Apple fulfilled its obligations and brought the applications on its devices in compliance with the requirements of the Russian legislation,” the statement says.
The BBC reported that Piskarev said that apple representatives were reminded that showing “Crimea as part of Ukrainian territory was a criminal offense under Russian law, according to Interfax news agency.”
Ukraines foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, responded to Apple on Twitter, saying,” Let me explain in your terms, Apple. Imagine youre 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 doesnt give a damn about your pain. Thats how it feels when you call Crimea a Russian land.”