Apple has Reversed Course and Reinstated Crimea as Ukrainian Territory on Apple Maps and Weather Apps
In late February Patently Apple posted a report titled "Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation Urges Apple's CEO to take action and stop selling products and services in the Russian Federation." With the Russian Ruble crashing due to the war in Ukraine, Apple had to stop selling products on their Russian online store as they had with Turkey when their currency crashed last November. It wasn't necessarily a move to assist Ukraine as it was a simple straight forward business decision to not lose money when a currency was in freefall.
We noted in our report that back in 2019 after Russia took over Crimea (Ukrainian territory), Russia demanded that Apple make a change to their Maps app to recognize Crimea as Russian territory and Apple complied.
This morning, Apple Maps now shows that Crimea is Ukrainian territory, a complete reversal as illustrated in the Apple Maps screenshot below.
(Click on image to Enlarge)
Although the change may only apply to Apple Maps outside of Russia, this is still a rather significant reversal.
In 2019 Vasily Piskaryov, chairman of the Duma security and anti-corruption committee, said Apple had complied with the Russian constitution. He further stated that representatives of the company were reminded that labelling Crimea as part of Ukrainian territory was a criminal offence under Russian law, according to Interfax news agency.
"There is no going back," Mr Piskaryov said. "Today, with Apple, the situation is closed - we have received everything we wanted."
The Maps change was first spotted by Mashable. The report was honest enough to note that it's unknown when the changes were actually made to Apple's apps. So it's unknown whether Apple recently made the change as an in-your-face move against Russia's invasion of Ukraine or a decision that was made a year ago or so to appease the international community's anger over the issue.
We'd like to think it's the former, but only time will tell if Apple will clarify the timing of the changes made.