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Published in Stream:
Day 893: July 29, 2016
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Google Caves Under Russian Pressure to Revert 'De-Communized' Names of Cities in Crimea
4 years
Delegation Of French MPs Arrives In Occupied Crimea
Yesterday we reported that Google had changed some 900 Crimean place names on its maps, following a resolution passed by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) to "de-Sovietize" the names.

In Ukraine, the new names were to take effect after Kiev restores control over Crimea, which Russia forcibly annexed in March 2014. That day would not likely come soon, but Google changed the names anyway.

But after Russia complained about the changes, Google restored the names, including Sovyetsky (Soviet) and Krasnogvardeyskoye (Krasnohvardis'ke) (Red Guard), RFE/RL reported. The Ukrainian parliament had wished to rename the towns Ichkiy and Kurman.

The names have now been reverted on both Russian-language and Ukrainian Google maps.

Russia's communications minister claimed that Google's temporary change was "illegal," but in fact, the UN General Assembly voted to affirm Ukraine's sovereignty and condemn the illegal annexation in 2014. 

Sergei Aksyonov, head of the self-proclaimed Crimean government accused Google of producing a "propaganda product rather than real maps," said RFE/RL.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick