Apple kicks 'Russian Facebook' off the App Store following new UK sanctions

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midian182

Posts: 8,325   +103
Staff member
Why it matters: Apple has removed Russia's Facebook competitor, VKontakte, from the App Store globally, a move prompted by new UK sanctions. It's one of several apps from VK, Russia's second-largest internet company, to have been dropped from the store, and the country is demanding an explanation.

VK said on its website that its apps, which include Mail.ru, VK Music, and Youla classifieds, are blocked by Apple but continue to work on devices that already have them installed. However, it did warn that there may be "be difficulties with notifications and payments."

"In recent months, key updates have been implemented on our main products, which will allow the apps to remain relevant for a long time," VK wrote. "Our experts are doing their best to maintain and continue to improve the user experience." The company is recommending the 75 million monthly users of its social network switch from the app to the mobile or desktop version of the site. The VK apps are still available on the Google Play Store.

Apple confirmed the reason for the removal in a statement that reads, "These apps are being distributed by developers majority-owned or majority-controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government."

"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."

Like many other US tech companies, Apple paused all product sales in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine earlier this year. However, it continues to allow the country access to the App Store. The new sanctions, introduced following the sham referendums Russia held in parts of Ukraine, include 39 members of the leadership of the state-linked Gazprombank and Sberbank banks, who own just under half of VK between them.

State-owned news agency TASS reports that VK sold its gaming division to Cayman Islands-based businessman Alexander Chachava for $642 million on Tuesday.

Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor said Apple's actions had deprived millions of Russians of access to VK apps and demanded that it explain its decision.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Pavel Durov (@durov)

VKontakte's founders, brothers Pavel and Nikolai Durov, are also the founders of encrypted messaging app Telegram, which has spent years clashing with Putin's government. Pavel Durov (above) left VK and Russia after refusing to hand over Ukrainian protester data or block Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's VK page, notes The Reg.

Russia made a veiled threat against SpaceX's Starlink system last week, warning that its involvement in the Ukraine conflict could make the satellites a legitimate target.

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Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
How many more decades must we live under the constant threat of nuclear war from bad actors like Russia? I say bring it on!
You're welcome to buy a ticket and fly over to Ukraine. Zelensky's got a rifle waiting for you.

In the meantime, I'd prefer it if you didn't get me and everyone I know killed in a thermonuclear holocaust, thanks.
 
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terzaerian

Posts: 1,517   +2,259
How many more decades must we live under the constant threat of nuclear war from bad actors like Russia? I say bring it on! Maybe it's time for a nuclear war that turns Moscow into a giant crater in the ground.
Be nice if the libs could pick a position on Russia somewhere between "collude with the USSR behind the back of President Reagan" and "slit their throats and bathe in their blood". The dramatic shifts are nigh-schizophrenic.
 

Axle Grease

Posts: 282   +232
You do realise if the nukes start flying in any direction we all die?

Exactly right. Hence why the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction works. We all die or have our lives drastically shortened, including the life of an autocratic thug, his supporters, their families, friends, and countrymen.
 

Momo56

Posts: 23   +11
You do realise if the nukes start flying in any direction we all die?

Nobody is gonna launch nukes because Ukraine got nuked. OTAN has no vital or even strategic interest in Ukraine except to weaken Russia. Not gonna happen. There's no reason to kill 90% of your own population and destroy civilization over Ukraine.

Kissinger said that if the USSR had nuked an other OTAN country in his time, the USA would not have launched back. Same thing here.
 

Inthenstus

Posts: 130   +191
Nobody is gonna launch nukes because Ukraine got nuked. OTAN has no vital or even strategic interest in Ukraine except to weaken Russia. Not gonna happen. There's no reason to kill 90% of your own population and destroy civilization over Ukraine.

Kissinger said that if the USSR had nuked an other OTAN country in his time, the USA would not have launched back. Same thing here.
[/QUOTE

Correct, but we’d invade Russia with conventional weapons. Which would probably make Putin nuke us.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,517   +2,259
Obviously not. Why would you go another route just to get the same result ?
I'm sure that, in 1918, the equivalent of Kissinger would have said that the US would not attack the Central Powers because Austria-Hungary withdrew their ambassador to Serbia, but that is what happened eventually anyway.

The term is Mutual Assured Destruction, not Mutual Instant Destruction.

EDIT: *1914. Yes, I got the years off.
 
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Momo56

Posts: 23   +11
The term is Mutual Assured Destruction, not Mutual Instant Destruction.

In 1914, the european powers were not aware of what they were engaging into.

I'm pretty sure every one of our leaders know how even a limited nuclear exchange would result. Especially when serveral MIRVs are targeted at them personnally.

I don't think our leaders are suicidal. Reckless, sure. Suicidal : I doubt strongly.
 
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dangh

Posts: 789   +1,335
Explanation is simple - terrorist state is not allowed to deploy propaganda tube on apple store.
I'm sure 'great' leader is happy ugly US company won't try to sell them rotten west technology.
North Korea is fine without it, Russia will be fine as well.
 

donnieD

Posts: 27   +25
Explanation is simple - terrorist state is not allowed to deploy propaganda tube on apple store.
I'm sure 'great' leader is happy ugly US company won't try to sell them rotten west technology.
North Korea is fine without it, Russia will be fine as well.

Member with the right to veto in the UN security council being called terrorist, I think not. More like cornered rat, or in this case bear.

I dread to think about short lived memories people have these days, but who here remembers the WMD rhetoric by Tony B.Liar and G. Dubbya B? Or, let's roll back past 40+ years and check out every "just" wars started by each of the "superpowers"....
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,838   +1,909
And Putin has one for you.
I'm not the one openly advocating escalation, even if it means nuclear war, now am I?

You know what's funny? Putie probably has more support here in the US than he does from his own people.
I truly don't understand why, in this age of easily-obtainable information, certain people delight in remaining ignorant. Is it a security belief for you? 15 years ago, Putin was by far the most popular democratically-elected leader in the world. He lost a great deal of support over that period-- but the war in Ukraine has so far boosted his popularity, not reduced it.



 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,312   +961
Even Russians don't trust Russians.
Ignoring any other response - if Russia goes to tactical nukes to save people in Ukraine - it will probably go to Russia being declared a a terrorist's state by the USA - that will mean a complete trade blockade by everyone except Norks .
Funny how people get excited by corrupt rulers - Putin, Trump etc - they must appeal to some baseness within them - fear of equality , fear of freedom , adulation needs - who knows - makes no sense to me - never needed a higher power to live my life .
Afraid of differences- other mammals don't care about such things .
Not saying there is great governance in the world - but it tends to get better with time .

Your right to bear arms is Russia is low , your right to stand up against the govt is lower - yet we see sad fearful people admiring Putin - because he will protect you from your fear of diversity , of people's sexuality, your imagined past that never existed ( MAGA )

The thing is nothing these panderers makes sense - love a strong Trump with emperor powers - to quell the different . Have to wear a mask on a plane - help help police brutality - I can't breath , I can't breath .
People raped in Ukraine from ages 4 to 83 in reports just release - what do they expect - wanting western democracy - wanting their own culture s/
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 2,840   +3,107
TechSpot Elite
I'm not the one openly advocating escalation, even if it means nuclear war, now am I?
I was joking

but the war in Ukraine has so far boosted his popularity, not reduced it.
It's cute that you actually think they would say anything else until recently. That they feel safe expressing their true thoughts. They still remember ***** Riot, among others.

I know for a fact Splatermir is very much hated.
 
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Axle Grease

Posts: 282   +232
I'm not the one openly advocating escalation, even if it means nuclear war, now am I?

I truly don't understand why, in this age of easily-obtainable information, certain people delight in remaining ignorant. Is it a security belief for you? 15 years ago, Putin was by far the most popular democratically-elected leader in the world. He lost a great deal of support over that period-- but the war in Ukraine has so far boosted his popularity, not reduced it.
Da. Da. Da. Da.


Da. Da. Da. Da. Da.
 
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