Apple lists Crimea as Russia in its Russian version of Maps


stockcam/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

It looks like Apple has capitulated to Russian demands as far as a certain peninsula goes. The revelation comes after Moscow-based BBC journalist Will Vernon did some experimenting with his iPhone and Apple Maps. According to Vernon, Crimea — which the majority of the European Union and the United States recognize as Ukrainian — was portrayed as part of Russia.

This is pretty damning news. Crimea remains a volcanic source of controversy between Russia and Ukraine, so this redrawing of maps green-lit by Apple is bound to startle many.

According to Vernon, Crimea is listed as part of Russia on the Russian version of Apple Maps but for the American version of the same app, Crimea is shown as part of Ukraine.

Russia confirms — According to Russian Duma website, Vasilii Piskarev, who chairs the Committee on Security and Corruption Control, confirmed the redrawing. “Apple fulfilled its obligations and brought the applications on its devices in compliance with the requirements of the Russian legislation,” the official is quoted saying.

Ukraine responds — The difference between the versions has elicited strong criticism from some prominent Ukrainian leaders, including the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Taking to Twitter, Vadym Prystaiko wrote, "Let me explain in your terms, @Apple. 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 smb [sic] ignorant doesn’t give a damn about your pain. That’s how it feels when you call #Crimea a [Russian] land."

At this moment, Apple is quiet about its decision-making process but if the pressure keeps up, the company has some major explaining to do.