Because of its owners' ties to Putin, the largest social network in Russia is banned in the Apple Store

Because of its owners' ties to Putin, the largest social network in Russia is banned in the Apple Store  On Wednesday, the Russian Communications Regulatory Authority requested clarification from Apple after removing applications operated by the Russian technology company "VK" (VK) from the application store of this American company, according to a report by Reuters (Reuters).  Regulator Roskomnadzor has been a thorn in the side of foreign tech companies, imposing fines for data storage violations and for failing to remove content Russia considers illegal, due to controversies that have escalated since Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine in February.  The VK platform with more than 75 million monthly users is operated by Vkontakte, the largest social network in Russia, often compared to Facebook. In addition to the VK e-mail service (Mail.ru), the VKontakte application must be pre-installed on mobile devices sold in Russia.  Roskomnadzor said Apple's actions had deprived millions of Russians of access to VK applications, and demanded an explanation of its decision.  Apple said it follows the laws in the jurisdictions in which the company operates, adding that the apps in question are distributed by developers owned by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government.  The US company added that it had terminated developer accounts linked to these applications to comply with UK sanctions, regardless of location, and applications cannot be downloaded from any store.  State-controlled VK tightened its grip on Russian websites this month by finalizing a deal to buy rival news aggregator Yandex, content platform Zen and Yandex Russia. ru) main.  VK CEO Vladimir Kirienko is under British sanctions, along with his father, Sergei Kirienko, who is the first deputy chief of staff of President Vladimir Putin.  Roskomnadzor called the restrictions "discriminatory" and said they violated the right of Russian Internet users to freedom of information and communications.  However, Russia has limited its citizens' access to information by forcing all important domestic independent media to shut down and block US social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  On Tuesday, VK said that its applications - including “Vkontakte” - continued to work on previously installed devices, and that it continues to develop and support applications for the iOS operating system (iOS) from Apple.   Roskomnadzor also asked Apple to explain its removal of other apps, including those of the airline Aeroflot and a number of banks such as major lenders Sberbank and VTB.

On Wednesday, the Russian Communications Regulatory Authority requested clarification from Apple after removing applications operated by the Russian technology company "VK" (VK) from the application store of this American company, according to a report by Reuters (Reuters).

Regulator Roskomnadzor has been a thorn in the side of foreign tech companies, imposing fines for data storage violations and for failing to remove content Russia considers illegal, due to controversies that have escalated since Russia sent its armed forces into Ukraine in February.

The VK platform with more than 75 million monthly users is operated by Vkontakte, the largest social network in Russia, often compared to Facebook. In addition to the VK e-mail service (Mail.ru), the VKontakte application must be pre-installed on mobile devices sold in Russia.

Roskomnadzor said Apple's actions had deprived millions of Russians of access to VK applications, and demanded an explanation of its decision.

Apple said it follows the laws in the jurisdictions in which the company operates, adding that the apps in question are distributed by developers owned by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government.

The US company added that it had terminated developer accounts linked to these applications to comply with UK sanctions, regardless of location, and applications cannot be downloaded from any store.

State-controlled VK tightened its grip on Russian websites this month by finalizing a deal to buy rival news aggregator Yandex, content platform Zen and Yandex Russia. ru) main.

VK CEO Vladimir Kirienko is under British sanctions, along with his father, Sergei Kirienko, who is the first deputy chief of staff of President Vladimir Putin.

Roskomnadzor called the restrictions "discriminatory" and said they violated the right of Russian Internet users to freedom of information and communications.

However, Russia has limited its citizens' access to information by forcing all important domestic independent media to shut down and block US social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

On Tuesday, VK said that its applications - including “Vkontakte” - continued to work on previously installed devices, and that it continues to develop and support applications for the iOS operating system (iOS) from Apple.


Roskomnadzor also asked Apple to explain its removal of other apps, including those of the airline Aeroflot and a number of banks such as major lenders Sberbank and VTB.
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