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Apple changed how Crimea appears in Maps and Weather by Russian demand

Apple Maps Crimea screenshot
Apple Maps Crimea screenshot (Image credit: BBC)

What you need to know

  • Russia demanded Apple alter how Crimea appears.
  • Changes have been made to the Maps and Weather apps.
  • The area now appears as Russian.

Apple has already drawn criticism for kowtowing to foreign governments and now it's made changes to its Maps and Weather apps to make Crimea appear to be Russian territory.

The BBC (via 9to5Mac) notes that Russian State Duma issued an amazingly brief statement confirming the change.

Crimea and Sevastopol now appear on Apple devices as Russian territory.

The change only appears to be in place for those inside Russia, while anyone checking the Maps or Weather apps elsewhere continues to see Crimea as "undefined territory." That, apparently, is the way Apple wanted things to stay worldwide, but despite months of negotiations it wasn't possible.

The tech giant originally suggested it could show Crimea as undefined territory - part of neither Russia nor Ukraine.But Vasily Piskaryov, chairman of the Duma security and anti-corruption committee, said Apple had complied with the Russian Constitution.

At least this only changes the way Crimea appears for those inside Russia, but it's still likely to mean Apple is in for yet more criticism relating to how it deals with foreign government requests.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • Strike 2 for Apple!
  • Didn’t like the removal of the Hong Kong app, but, if you know you’re history, this one actually makes sense. Crimea was part of Russia before the Soviets made it part of Soviet Ukraine in 1954, widely considered a symbolic gesture. After Ukraine’s democratically elected government was recently overthrown in a USA backed and orchestrated coup by the current fascists running the country, Putin took back Crimea. I don’t like Putin, of course, but you can hardly blame him on that one. The USA has done the same and worse, as has Britain.