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Yandex users in Ukraine and Turkey see Crimea as part of Ukraine

March 24, 2014, 19:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“Yandex is an international company providing services in accordance with the laws of those countries where we work," company says
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EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, March 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s largest search engine, Yandex, says its mapping service, Yandex.Maps, will show Crimea as part of Ukraine only for users from Ukraine and Turkey. Yandex users from other countries will see the Black Sea peninsula as Russian territory.

“Yandex is an international company providing services in accordance with the laws of those countries where we work,” the company told Itar-Tass on Monday, adding that Ukraine and Turkey had not accepted Crimea’s referendum and, therefore, users from these countries would see the peninsula as part of Ukraine.

Russia’s most popular mapping service, providing high-quality maps of more than 1,300 cities and towns in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, together with detailed maps of other countries, has updated its maps to designate Crimea as part of Russia. Cities and villages on the peninsula are now marked as belonging to Russia, and a new state line has been drawn.

Meanwhile, Russia’s largest Internet company, Mail.Ru Group, has also updated its mapping tools to include Crimea as part of Russia in its maps. However, it can be seen at a certain scale that the state borders between Russia and Ukraine have remained unchanged.

Ksenia Chabanenko, of Mail.Ru, told Itar-Tass on March 19 that the company started updating its mapping tools to show Crimea as part of Russia and was “dealing with the technical aspects” of the change.

Crimea is deemed accepted to the Russian Federation following the results of the referendum, held in the republic on March 16. According to final referendum returns, 96.7% of Crimean residents who voted in the referendum backed Crimea’s reunification with Russia without taking into account the voting results in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. As many as 95.6% of local residents participating in the plebiscite supported Sevastopol’s accession to Russia.

On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees on the accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation. The signing ceremony was held at the Catherine Hall of the Kremlin. Putin signed the law on the ratification of the interstate Agreement “On the Accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and Forming New Constituent Entities within the RF” that had been signed on March 18. According to the Agreement, from this date the Republic of Crimea is considered acceded to the Russian Federation. Putin also signed the federal constitutional law on Crimea’s accession to the RF and on forming new constituent entities in the country - the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol.

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