Apple has complied with Russian demands to show the annexed peninsula as part of Russian territory on its apps.
Over the past six months, Russian MPs have been insisting Apple should correct the ‘mistake’ in territorial status of Crimea and define it as Russia’s. According to the State Duma, Apple violates Russian law by marking the peninsula as the territory of Ukraine. As a result, the company has met the Kremlin halfway.
“Showing the Crimean cities as Russia’s in Apple applications which previously designated the peninsula as the territory of Ukraine does not mean that the West recognizes Crimea’s being Russian. However, this is the first step towards the truth,” Katerina Altabayeva, a senator from Sevastopol, said.
In turn, Ukraine’s Minister Vadym Prystaiko emotionally reacted to the situation:
Let me explain in your terms, @Apple. 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. That’s how it feels when you call #Crimea a ?? land.
— Vadym Prystaiko (@VPrystaiko) November 27, 2019
Most of UN member states did not recognise the 2014 referendum in Crimea. G7, NATO member states, the European Union, the Council of Europe regarded the Russian actions as aggression and violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. In April 2014, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada adopted a law declaring Crimea and the city of Sevastopol city the territory seized as a result of ‘the armed aggression of the Russian Federation’. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague recognised the annexation of the Crimean peninsula as a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and a Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory.
On Wednesday, when asked for remarks on Apple’s recent decision, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary‑General, said:
“From our standpoint, our situation hasn’t changed, which we recognise the territorial integrity of Ukraine as outlined in the relevant General Assembly resolution. So, our position has not changed. Apple is a private company.”