Apple puts its own embargo on Russia (and you can help Ukraine, too)


Caviar Putin iPhone
This Putin-themed iPhone from Caviar seems painfully ironic now.
Photo: Caviar

Apple has stopped selling its products in Russia as the country’s war on Ukraine stretches on. The Mac-maker is taking other steps as well, like removing the state-backed news applications RT and Sputnik from the App Store.

“We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Apple said Tuesday in a statement. “We are supporting humanitarian efforts, providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis, and doing all we can to support our teams in the region.”

Apple pauses ‘all product sales in Russia’

Apple’s moves come as countries and companies around the world react to Russia’s six-day-old incursion into Ukraine. Harsh sanctions imposed by Western countries threaten to cripple the Russian economy. And tech companies including Facebook and Twitter have taken steps to limit the reach and effectiveness of disinformation from Russian state-affiliated media.

Apple on Tuesday also spelled out other moves it’s making in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Most notably, Apple said it “paused all product sales in Russia.” The company will no longer export new products into the country.

As a further part of putting pressure on Russia, the company says “Apple Pay and other services have been limited.” Apple also “disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.”

And, as previously noted, “RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia.”

Ukrainian software makers weigh in

Meanwhile, Mac software makers MacPaw and Skylum, both of which were founded in Ukraine and operate primarily in Kyiv, put together resource pages for anyone interested in monitoring the situation.

They both offered links to charities that will benefit Ukrainian citizens as well as support the embattled country’s armed forces.

“Being humans of the 21st century, we all wish that the tragic days of war were a thing of the past,” MacPaw’s Yana Kopylova wrote in an email to Cult of Mac. “However, now once more, with the Russian aggression against Ukraine, we’ve been made to witness how easily freedom, independence, and the human right to life and choice are put on the line.”

How to support Ukraine

Kopylova requested that we share these links with our readers:

“It would mean a lot to our country if you spread the word about the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Kopylova wrote. “This is a horrible war, and the Russian citizens are being lied to by their government about facts and casualties.”

Similary, Skylum’s page points to official sources of news from Ukraine as well as ways you can donate and otherwise support the country.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that Russia’s military attack on Ukraine has killed more than 350 civilians and wounded more than 2,000 during the last four days,” MacPaw’s Kopylova wrote. “More than 5,300 Russian soldiers are killed or wounded. Their mothers don’t know anything about it. Despite this, there are still attacks on Ukrainian cities, including our capital, Kyiv.

“Any help spreading the truth about what’s going on in Ukraine right now would be tremendously beneficial to us! News, social media posts, banners, etc. – anything has the potential to save the lives of tens of thousands of Ukrainians and Russians.”

Lewis Wallace contributed to this report.


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