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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple has removed from the App Store all iOS apps belonging to Russian technology conglomerate VK, a move Apple says is in response to the latest round of UK sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

vk-logo.jpg
"These apps are being distributed by developers majority-owned or majority-controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government," said Apple spokesperson Adam Dema in a statement given to The Verge. "In order to comply with these sanctions, Apple terminated the developer accounts associated with these apps, and the apps cannot be downloaded from any App Store, regardless of location. Users who have already downloaded these apps may continue to use them."
The UK government on Monday enacted a new package of sanctions affecting tens of executives at Gazprombank, a Russian bank with links to VK. The sanctions were in response to sham referenda recently staged by Russian authorities in occupied areas of Ukraine.

The Russian Ministry of Digital Affairs told state media outlet RT that it was looking into "the reasons for deleting VK applications and developer accounts, underlining the social significance and scale of use of the services provided by the Russian company." Meanwhile, VK told Russian news outlet Interfax that the apps may continue to work but that there could be issues with notifications and payments.

VK, or VKontakte, is a social media app created in 2006 by Pavel Durov, who also founded and still runs Telegram. Durov was dismissed as CEO of VK in April 2014 after he allegedly refused to hand over the personal details of users to the Russian Federal Security Service.

Apple's removal of the apps from its App Store means users no longer have access to the app for social media network VK, the fourth most popular website in Russia, as well as Mail.ru and VK Music. The apps were included in a list that Apple was legally obliged to show to new iPhone owners in Russia for download during initial setup, until Apple stopped selling its products in the country.

Article Link: Apple Removes Russian VK Apps From App Store in Response to UK Sanctions
 

Sammy in SoCal

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2021
431
904
Fortunately or unfortunately Apple always approaches situations like this from a business perspective. They have to back the UK so there business there is not affected. They always do everything strategically in this fashion.

Some would argue the splash page for the Queen‘s passing on apple dot com recently was a move to show sensitivity to the British people as to foster continuing sales and business relations in that country.
 

ian87w

Suspended
Feb 22, 2020
7,933
11,353
Indonesia
So the sanction is from the UK? Can Apple simply block the app on the UK app store? I mean if it's from the US government, then maybe it makes more sense. Does this mean the UK government can dictate what Apple have in the app store for other countries? Maybe someone can provide more details. Genuinely curious.
 

ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,021
9,114
Fortunately or unfortunately Apple always approaches situations like this from a business perspective. They have to back the UK so there business there is not affected. They always do everything strategically in this fashion.

Some would argue the splash page for the Queen‘s passing on apple dot com recently was a move to show sensitivity to the British people as to foster continuing sales and business relations in that country.
In a nutshell they respect the legal confinement of the British law.
 

ericwn

macrumors G4
Apr 24, 2016
11,021
9,114
So the sanction is from the UK? Can Apple simply block the app on the UK app store? I mean if it's from the US government, then maybe it makes more sense. Does this mean the UK government can dictate what Apple have in the app store for other countries? Maybe someone can provide more details. Genuinely curious.
Same thoughts here, why would this affect all app stores rather than just the British one?
 

kyjaotkb

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2009
851
619
London, UK
VK seems to have been removed from the App Store but you can still find VK-owned apps.
- Odnoklassniki (which is owned by the VK group, fka Mail.ru) is still on the App Store
- so is Audioclub / Chaikovski, which is Gazprom Media Holding's music streaming app (similar to BOOM, VK's music app)
And Gazprom banking apps are still there - I guess it would be really punitive to take people's banking apps away and there might be an exception in the sanctions regime for those.
 

Alchemist

macrumors regular
Dec 22, 2004
140
102
UK
Free speech means the government won't persecute you for expressing your opinion. This isn't that.

Also, Russians aren't innocent. Most support what Russia is doing in Ukraine, and Putin.
This. Removing a platform, in this case VK, from another platform, in this case the Apple App Store, is not a denial of free speech.

If you're concerned about defending free speech, take a look at Russia itself. Expressing an anti-war opinion in Russia will get you locked up right now. Holding a blank placard on the street will get you locked up right now. That is a denial of free speech, this action by Apple and the UK is not.
 

ninethirty

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2006
1,157
849
Many don't actually support, but speaking out isn't an option for them. And many of those that support Putin's activities do so based on the story they're fed, which is very different to the story we're fed in the West.
Many is not most. Do yourself a favor and read about split Russian families. Those still living in Russia believe quite strongly what they've been told, and won't listen at all to expat Russians who have tried to warn them that they're being fed lies.

Regardless, taking some extra time to look at any situation objectively, instead of just believing what you're being told on state run tv (which should already be a warning flag to most), isn't exactly hard, and yet they're not interested.

This isn't any different than those that choose to believe MAGA lies about stolen elections, or Q Anon nonsense. They're choosing to believe what isn't true, and supporting liars willfully.

Russians are not innocent. They are willing participants.
 

sirozha

macrumors 68000
Jan 4, 2008
1,830
2,239
Most support? Sources? Numbers? Anything with facts?
Most support. My family lives three. Putin’s support is well above 50% (landslide by the western standards) even after he announced the mobilization. It obviously dropped somewhat since a week ago (when the mobilization was announced) but not due to any empathy for the Ukrainians; rather out of fear that a relative (or oneself) will be killed in the war.

Today’s Russia is Nazi Germany of 1939. Today’s regime in Russia is Hitler’s regime of 1937 (right before he went after Jews). We are about to see a nuclear weapon being used for the first time since 1945, and the majority of the Russian citizens support nuking Ukraine.

Don’t have any sympathy for the Russians. They are guilty in what’s going on by having endorsed the Putin’s regime for 23 years now. They voted for him multiple times while it was still possible to elect someone else and continued to vote for him while it was already impossible to elect anyone else. They deserve being nuked back. My relatives deserve being nuked back. Do not pity them.
 
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