Apple responds to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, pulls RT & Sputnik apps and disables Apple Maps features in Ukraine

Apple Store Cutout Nyc Update
Apple Store Cutout Nyc Update (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has announced that it is making changes to its Russian business in response to the invasion of Ukraine.
  • RT and Sputnik apps have been removed from international App Stores.
  • Changes have been made to Apple Maps in Ukraine.

Apple has responded to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine by halting exports into the country, removing two suspected propaganda apps from the App Store, and disabling traffic and live incidents in Ukraine.

Following the news that Apple has stopped selling devices in Russia, the company has now released a statement outlining other changes that it has made including the cessation of exports into the Russian sales channel.

Apple's release reads:

We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence. We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.We have taken a number of actions in response to the invasion. We have paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking. We join all those around the world who are calling for peace."

Apple says that it has now removed the RT and Sputnik news apps from the App Store outside of Russia — both have been accused of spreading misinformation and propaganda for the Kremlin.

Apple's decision to stop displaying live incidents and traffic in Apple Maps should help prevent Russia from getting additional information on the movement of Ukrainians, as alluded to by the press release.

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.