Ukraine urges Tim Cook to block the Apple App Store in Russia

vannvicente

Posts: 12   +0
Why it matters: In response to Russia's full-scale invasion earlier this week, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister has asked Apple CEO Tim Cook to halt device sales and block the App Store in Russia. Although Apple has not publicly commented on the request, there are increasing calls for tech companies to restrict Russian access to their products and services.

Following a barrage of economic and financial sanctions from several countries, Ukraine has now called on the private sector to do its part — starting with tech giant Apple.

On Friday, Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian minister of digital transformation, tweeted, "I've contacted Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, to block the Apple Store for citizens of the Russian Federation, and to support the package of US government sanctions!"

The tweet included a letter addressed directly to Tim Cook from the Ukrainian government. It reads, "We need your support - in 2022, modern technology is perhaps the best answer to the tanks, multiple rocket launchers (hrad) and missiles." He further emphasizes that "such actions will motivate youth and active population of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression."

This request highlights the prominent role that technology and the internet play in the Ukrainian conflict. Along with the military battles being fought on the ground, the two nations are exchanging blows in cyberspace. Ukrainian companies and networks were barraged with cyberattacks in the weeks leading up to the invasion. Earlier this week, hacking collective Anonymous purportedly caused outages to major Russian government websites, including the official page of the Kremlin.

Most of the economic sanctions were focused on Russia's finance, energy, and enterprise technology sectors, limiting their ability to trade internationally. However, there's increasing pressure for US tech companies to tighten Russian consumer access to their services. At the start of the crisis, the official Ukraine Twitter account called for Russia's account to be banned from the platform, posting, "Hey people, let's demand Twitter to remove Russia from here."

Apple is a major player in the smartphone space in Russia.

In Q3 2021, IDC reported that iPhones were the third most popular phone brand among Russians with 15% of the market, trailing behind Samsung with 34% and Xiaomi with 26%. While most Apple services, including the App Store, remain active for Russian consumers, the global economic sanctions have affected Apple Pay. Russian banks affected by the sanctions are now unable to use Apple's wireless payments solution.

Apple's relationship with the Russian government has been rocky in recent years. In November 2019, Russia passed a law prohibiting the sale of electronic devices without pre-configured Russian software. Apple was later forced to offer local apps, including Yandex Browser, streaming service OK Live, and social network VK, during the initial iPhone setup. The company also preemptively removed Russian access to iCloud Private Relay, a network privacy feature first implemented in iOS 15.

While Apple has not responded directly to the letter, Tim Cook tweeted on Thursday that he was "deeply concerned with the situation Ukraine," adding that Apple planned to support local humanitarian efforts.

Image credit: Brooks Kraft

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ypsylon

Posts: 506   +508
Fat chance considering Russian gangsters & oligarchs love Apple stuff, it's not only status symbol, but also useful tool in dealing with political enemies (FindMy is largest BT network in the World). Apple won't allow to forfeit such huge market for war in Ukraine*. Unless Biden administration find some real cojones nothing will change.

*- In the words of pathetic Neville Chamberlain from 1938 about Czechoslovakia which are very apt to quote here:

"How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.(...)"

So unless there is war coming to Cupertino tomorrow Ukraine will bleed to death without help and Apple will swim in Putin's blood money while sending PR Tweets.

Cynical? Yes. Cold & calculated? Absolutely. Logical? Of course. Real? You bet F ***!

P.S. I have no issues with ordinary Russian citizens. I love the culture, history, the unique architecture, I have many Russian friends. They are totally ashamed to be called Russian citizen. Some escaped Russia in past years, some are stuck in that hell right now. They know if Putin ****s up totally they could end as radioactive glass. That's the true tragedy. The normal folks which know the outside World, don't buy lies, resist; which are beaten and tortured every single day in some KGB dungeons and Gulags. If it sounds a bit emotional, that's because it is. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Ukrainians working where I live, many of them returned home to fight. Barely slept over past 48h and thinking about this madness 24h a day.
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,125   +1,738
Fat chance considering Russian gangsters & oligarchs love Apple stuff, it's not only status symbol, but also useful tool in dealing with political enemies (FindMy is largest BT network in the World). Apple won't allow to forfeit such huge market for war in Ukraine*. Unless Biden administration find some real cojones nothing will change.

*- In the words of pathetic Neville Chamberlain from 1938 about Czechoslovakia which are very apt to quote here:

"How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.(...)"

So unless there is war coming to Cupertino tomorrow Ukraine will bleed to death without help and Apple will swim in Putin's blood money while sending PR Tweets.

Cynical? Yes. Cold & calculated? Absolutely. Logical? Of course. Real? You bet F ***!

P.S. I have no issues with ordinary Russian citizens. I love the culture, history, the unique architecture, I have many Russian friends. They are totally ashamed to be called Russian citizen. Some escaped Russia in past years, some are stuck in that hell right now. They know if Putin ****s up totally they could end as radioactive glass. That's the true tragedy. The normal folks which know the outside World, don't buy lies, resist; which are beaten and tortured every single day in some KGB dungeons and Gulags. If it sounds a bit emotional, that's because it is. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Ukrainians working where I live, many of them returned home to fight. Barely slept over past 48h and thinking about this madness 24h a day.
I live in Moscow and it is no hell. I live very well here, and I am not Russian. People repeat what others told them, but they don't have any direct knowledge about the matter. First live here, next comment something about this "hell". Humbugs!
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,488   +2,694
I live in Moscow and it is no hell. I live very well here, and I am not Russian. People repeat what others told them, but they don't have any direct knowledge about the matter. First live here, next comment something about this "hell". Humbugs!
How is it in Moscow at the moment? Are people just fine with the war or are people a bit on edge?
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
There should be a complete ban on any and all trade with Russia. It should be treated like a country with which we are at war.
The US and Russia have been having a surrogate war in the Ukraine for years now... This is simply the latest step in it... Is Putin an evil @ss? Yes! But is the US (and the rest of the west) blameless? Certainly not.

I feel for the people in the Ukraine - they have been hung out to dry by both sides.

I suppose they have it slightly better than the people of Afghanistan and Vietnam did when their countries were used for this war... but not much...

The jungles and loss of life in Vietnam led to sweeping changes in the US... and Afghanistan and its mountainous terrain almost certainly led to the downfall and breakup of the USSR due to continuous guerrilla warfare - but the terrain in the Ukraine makes it much harder for that to happen....
 

Nobina

Posts: 3,775   +4,196
Looking at what's happening makes me sick of this clown world. Imagine wanting to go about your life but instead, you have to fight and very likely die protecting politicians in a war you didn't want. I'm not into politics much but I fear for the common citizen. People are posting pictures of what's happening on Twitter, lots of corpses of men, women and children. I hope it stops soon.

How is it in Moscow at the moment? Are people just fine with the war or are people a bit on edge?
I've seen videos of people in Russia protesting but ofcourse are getting arrested for it.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,736   +7,674
I live in Moscow and it is no hell. I live very well here, and I am not Russian. People repeat what others told them, but they don't have any direct knowledge about the matter. First live here, next comment something about this "hell". Humbugs!
I take it that you didn't participate in the protests against the war in the Ukraine by the Russian people? Or were 900+ arrests, "fake news"?

My impression is that in general, Russian daily life has taken on a more liberal, (am I allowed to say that?), relaxed, and western atmosphere.

Provided of course, that nobody hears you sass, "Vlad the Invader".. Because if you do, you're liable to be treated to a "polonium cocktail".
 
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Mister_K

Posts: 2,159   +860
Mixed. Years receiving sanctions from Europe. You punish the big dog so much that at the end it'll bite you. Simple human nature.

That's what happens if a prick like Putin isn't taken care of. I liked him to an extent but since 2014 he has truly shown his real nature.
 

Mister_K

Posts: 2,159   +860
I take it that you didn't participate in the protests against the war in the Ukraine by the Russian people? Or were 900+ arrests, "fake news"?

My impression is that in general, Russian daily life has taken on a more liberal, (am I allowed to say that?), relaxed, and western atmosphere.

Provided of course, that nobody hears you sass, "Vlad the Invader".. Because if you do, you're liable to be treated to a "polonium cocktail".

Stockholm syndrome I say. The West is not perfect with it's own capitalistic flaws (Middle East) but at least compared to Russia/China and other areas of the Globe we have more "freedoms".
 

GamerNerves

Posts: 175   +108
This suggestion would only affect the regular people. Let's shift a political and economical war into a people's war, a great idea (obviously not). If western powers would have wanted to block the war, why didn't they make any sort of real proposion before it started? There are no saints here.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,736   +7,674
If western powers would have wanted to block the war, why didn't they make any sort of real proposion before it started? There are no saints here.
If I'm to believe our news outlets, the sticking point was not refusing Ukraine admission to NATO. And here again our news reported, that the NATO countries explicitly agreed not to deploy offensive weapons there.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 18,736   +7,674
Stockholm syndrome I say. The West is not perfect with it's own capitalistic flaws (Middle East) but at least compared to Russia/China and other areas of the Globe we have more "freedoms".
We did get sucked into a war that Russia proved it couldn't win. Not to mention the only real cash crop Afghanistan has, is opium. And, with the help of big pharma, look how many junkies we now have in the US.
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,125   +1,738
Stockholm syndrome I say. The West is not perfect with it's own capitalistic flaws (Middle East) but at least compared to Russia/China and other areas of the Globe we have more "freedoms".
The West sucks too. All of them are the same. In the end they rest in violence as Russians, Chinese, and so on.
 

CowsGotMilk

Posts: 59   +151
Hello guys, I'm following what's happening in Ukraine through trusted channels since the beginning. Russia is trying to invade a nation which has chosen to be democratic. And they're doing this because Russians are Nazi. Yes, it's no mistake, they think like Nazis, they act like they're ones. They have no real reason to attack Ukraine, only lies they live in whole time. Don't trust what Russians say, they're liars! They're trying to bring back USSR and Ukraine is only the beginning.

I'm happy that whole Europeans, Americans countries, Australia, Japan and Taiwan are supporting Ukraine in this horrible act. And support is just increasing. We're with you Ukraine!
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,125   +1,738
Hello guys, I'm following what's happening in Ukraine through trusted channels since the beginning. Russia is trying to invade a nation which has chosen to be democratic. And they're doing this because Russians are Nazi. Yes, it's no mistake, they think like Nazis, they act like they're ones. They have no real reason to attack Ukraine, only lies they live in whole time. Don't trust what Russians say, they're liars! They're trying to bring back USSR and Ukraine is only the beginning.

I'm happy that whole Europeans, Americans countries, Australia, Japan and Taiwan are supporting Ukraine in this horrible act. And support is just increasing. We're with you Ukraine!
Stop smoking that, please.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,488   +2,694
Mixed. Years receiving sanctions from Europe. You punish the big dog so much that at the end it'll bite you. Simple human nature.
I guess if the big dog stopped sh*tting on the carpet, it wouldn't need to be told off all the time.

I thought russian citizens wouldn't really care, or are afraid to display what they actually think in fear of being arrested. Probably a bit of both I imagine.

Do you reckon Putin will go further? Finland / Sweden next?
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,030   +768
I very glad there is reasonable discourse here - thought I might be reading an American polictics slant - thanks .
My personal take - is strangle Russia economically , sport , internet - everything - even Finland is now concerned . I don't think Putin is crazy enough to go into Estonia ( NATO - plus unfortunately they are "Europeans" - not my opinion - most Europeans and the world know nothing of Ukraine except Chernobyl )
Moldova will be next . Crimea, Ukraine then Moldova .
Putin must of been feeling weak to do this.
There will be a brain drain - Russia is pitiful without it's natural resources - it's not even a large economy.
It's a shame - Russia like Poland has produced great engineers etc . Poland would be an economic powerhouse if Stalin hadn't invaded . Russia is way short of it's potential - Lots of Russians aren't anti-gay , or stupidly nationalistic - they're are proud , they love the motherland - but they are highly educated and know their is a better way
 

Hexic

Posts: 1,213   +1,890
TechSpot Elite
As told before, Russians are liars and manipulators all the time. Instead of arguments, they blame. All the time.

OR

They're victims of Putins propaganda and they're blind.

One or another.

While you can blame some - Russians have had their rights slowly taken away over time, and most of them don't understand what it's like to have full freedom anymore.

It's not so much the "Russians" in general per se, that are the liars.. the populace simply doesn't know any better anymore. The rationalizing horrible actions by weak and/or nonexistent arguments is led by Putin and his authoritarian government. The citizenship aren't allowed to protest over anything anymore or they'll be thrown in prison.

When your authoritarian regime controls the general narrative, press, politics, and physical policing for long enough... You get complacancy. Look at China.
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,125   +1,738
I guess if the big dog stopped sh*tting on the carpet, it wouldn't need to be told off all the time.

I thought russian citizens wouldn't really care, or are afraid to display what they actually think in fear of being arrested. Probably a bit of both I imagine.

Do you reckon Putin will go further? Finland / Sweden next?
I don't think so. It is just about Ukraine in NATO.
 

Geralt

Posts: 1,125   +1,738
As told before, Russians are liars and manipulators all the time. Instead of arguments, they blame. All the time.

OR

They're victims of Putins propaganda and they're blind.

One or another.
Don’t tell me because I am not Russian.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
While you can blame some - Russians have had their rights slowly taken away over time, and most of them don't understand what it's like to have full freedom anymore.
When did they have rights? They have certainly never had full freedom...