Apple halts sales in Russia over Ukraine invasion

The tech giant joins in crackdown over Ukraine invasion

Apple on Tuesday announced it has halted sales of its products in Russia in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Apple

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., December 5, 2016. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid / Reuters Photos)

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"We are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence," the company said in a statement, noting that they are providing aid for those impacted by the crisis.

"We have taken a number of actions in response to the invasion," the statement continued. "We have paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited."

RT

An RT News logo seen displayed on a smartphone screen with a flag of Ukraine in the background (Photo illustration by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images) (Photo illustration by Nikolas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Apple went on to say that state-owned Russian media outlets "RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia," and that the tech giant has "disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens."

The company added that it is "in communication with relevant governments on the actions we're taking."

The announcement comes as tech companies face increasing pressure to join in cracking down on Russia over its aggression.

Google

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - OCTOBER 28: Google headquarters is seen in Mountain View, California, United States on October 28, 2021. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Also on Tuesday, Google confirmed to Reuters that it had scrubbed RT News and other state-run Russian media from its news-related features, after earlier restricting them from advertising tools and other features on YouTube.

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RT News deputy editor-in-chief Anna Belkina hit out at the firms over the actions, telling Reuters that the tech companies that have restricted her outlets have not pointed to "a single grain of evidence that what RT has reported over these days, and continues to report, is not true."

"This collective ‘establishment’ seems to be terrified of a mere presence of any outside voice for the fear of losing their historically captive audience, if that audience encounters a different perspective," she added.