Apple Maps Crimea screenshotSource: BBC

What you need to know

  • Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Minister has expressed his anger over Apple's decision to show Crimea and Sevastopol as Russian territories.
  • Vadym Prystaiko took to Twitter to criticize the move.
  • The change only affects users of iOS who live in Russia.

Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Minister has blasted Apple over its decision to show Crimea and Sevastopol as Russian territories in its iOS Maps and Weather apps.

Yesterday, November 27, it emerged that Apple had amended the regions of Crimea and Sevastopol, so that they appear as Russian territories when using Maps and Weather. The change only affects users living in Russia, similar to other previous regional changes Apple has made to iOS, for example, its decision to remove the flag of Taiwan from the emoji keyboard in Hong Kong and China.

The annexation of Crimea by Russia is an extremely controversial subject in the region. Russia's claim of ownership is not recognized by the majority of the international community, including the EU and the US. The conflict has killed more than 13,000 people.

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Taking to Twitter in the wake of the news, Ukraine's Foreign Affairs Minister told Apple "global politics is not your strong side."

He went on to say:

Phones are great products. Seriously, though, @Apple, please, please, stick to high-tech and entertainment. Global politics is not your strong side. #CrimeaIsUkraine

Apple had been in talks with Russia for several months over what the Russian government described as an "inaccuracy" in its maps. Apple had initially suggested it could label the territory as undefined, neither part of Russia or Ukraine. Now it seems Apple has complied with the Russian demands to label the territory (at least to Russian users) as part of Russia.

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