Ukraine war causes devs to pull software from Russian App Store | Cult of Mac

Ukraine war causes devs to pull software from Russian App Store


Readdle stands among developers pulling apps from the Russian App Store and calling for help for Ukraine.
Readdle stands among developers pulling apps from the Russian App Store and calling for help for Ukraine.
Photo: Readdle

As the Russian armed incursion into Ukraine continues, several developers have pulled their apps from the Russian App Store. Companies that have done so to date include Ukraine-based Readdle, MacPaw and Ajax Systems, as well as Grammarly and Epam, sources have told Cult of Mac.

The app makers add their voices to numerous other companies taking their business away from Russia amid the conflict.

Readdle and other apps exit Russian App Store

Readdle withdrew its popular productivity apps from the Russian App Store, stopping all sales and support via the platform. Cult of Mac spoke with Readdle board member Denys Zhadanov via email about why the company pulled its apps.

“With regard to the reason for making the decision to exit Russian AppStore — as an Ukrainian-founded company, with a significant number of team members in [Ukraine], we consider it our responsibility to support our team members, their families and the defense of the country against the unprovoked attack by Russia,” he said.

“We have team members who are sheltering from the missiles that are being targeted at civilians and cannot stand by and do nothing,” he added.

Zhadanov said new users in Russia will be unable to download Readdle products, such as Spark, PDF Expert, Documents, Scanner Pro, and Calendars. “But existing users will have access to the apps they have on their devices. They will not receive updates or support,” he said.

Other devs taking action

And Readdle doesn’t stand alone in defiance of Russia among app developers.

“Others who have taken this move are companies across multiple sectors including Grammarly, MacPaw, Epam, and Ajax,” Zhadanov said.

Cult of Mac has also been in touch with MacPaw PR specialist Eugene Kalnyk via email. The company is based in Kyiv, Ukraine.

“We have already pulled MacPaw apps from App Store in Russia and Belarus and are stopping purchases on our website from these countries, as well,” Kalynk said.

Kalynk provided a list of measures MacPaw and other technology companies, including some based in Ukraine, are taking:
  • Reface sent to their users in Russia to inform them about the war that the Russian propaganda still calls a ‘crisis.’
  • Grammarly donated $5 million to organizations and funds defending and supporting the people of Ukraine. Grammarly discontinued its services in Russia.
  • CleanMyMac is free for the media covering the war in Ukraine.
  • JustAnswer will pay half of the employees’ salaries if they’re called to fight and will reconfigure positions to cover for missing team members.
  • Ajax Systems created an app for tracking air alerts in all regions of Ukraine.
  • ClearVPN by MacPaw is now free for all Ukrainians. We also launched a shortcut ‘Stand with Ukraine’ with useful links for everyone who wants to help Ukraine now.
  • Depositphotos in collaboration with @vistacreate and @99designs created templates for social media for everyone to share their support for Ukraine and demand that the world leaders help stop the war.

Moves by Apple and others, plus useful resources

And app developers aren’t the only ones taking business away from Russia, of course.

Apple has stopped product sales in Russia, cut off Apple Pay and banned Russian state-owned media outlets from the App Store. On Friday, the Cupertino tech giant added a banner to the top of its website to help speed users’ donations to Unicef to help families in Ukraine. Google has cut off access to Google Play in Russia.

And other companies suspending sales and activities in Russia include Boeing, Airbus, Lufthansa, Ford, General Motors, Volkswagen, Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony, Netflix, Dell, Microsoft and Nokia.

Readdle has set up a resource webpage with the hashtag #StandWithUkraine. The page includes links to charities to make it easy to donate money to Ukrainian organizations working to help people in the country.


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