Apple removed all apps owned by VK, a Russian tech company that owns Russia’s Facebook-like social network VKontakte, Mail.ru, Youla classifieds, and VK Music.
Apple confirmed that the apps were removed from the App Store to comply with new sanctions.
“These apps are being distributed by developers majority-owned or majority-controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government,” a spokesperson for Apple said. “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.”
Earlier this week, the UK government enforced new sanctions on Russian oligarchs because of the recent referendums the Russian government held in some parts of Ukraine. The sanctions affect executives at Gazprombank, which is affiliated with VK. The company’s CEO, Vladimir Kiriyenko, was sanctioned by the US back in February for being Putin’s ally.
Google is yet to remove VK apps from the Play Store.
VK is the second-largest internet company in Russia, after Yandex, the country’s version of Google.
If you're tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net.