Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent out a letter to employees, addressing the Russia-Ukraine war and the company’s sanctions on Vlamadir Putin-governed Russia. The letter assessed by The Verge highlights Apple’s decision to ban Russian outlets RT News and Sputnik News from App Store for iPhones, iPads, Mac, and other devices. Last week, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov urged Apple to stop selling its products like iPhones, Mac, and more in Russia to protect Ukraine from “authoritarian aggression". The latest letter by Cook to employees also addresses Apple’s decision to stop products sale in Russia and efforts to protect employees in the war-struck region. Here’s a full copy of the letter via The Verge.
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“I wanted to take a moment to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
I know I speak for everyone at Apple in expressing our concern for all of those affected by the violence. With each new image of families fleeing their homes and brave citizens fighting for their lives, we see how important it is for people around the world to come together to advance the cause of peace.
Apple is donating to humanitarian relief efforts and providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis. We are also working with partners to assess what more we can do. I know that many of you are eager to find ways to support as well, and we want to help amplify the impact of your donations. Starting today, Apple will match your donations at a rate of 2:1 for eligible organizations, and we will make this retroactive for donations to those organizations since February 25. Please visit the Employee Giving Portal to learn more.
We are working to support our teams in Ukraine and across the region. In Ukraine, we have been in contact with every employee, assisting them and their families in any way we can. For our Ukrainian team members located outside of the country that may need support, please contact [email redacted]. And for any employee who needs any support, please visit the People site for available resources.
As a company, we are taking additional actions as well. 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 News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.
We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking.
This moment calls for unity, it calls for courage, and it reminds us that we must never lose sight of the humanity we all share. In these difficult times, I take comfort in knowing that we are united in our commitment to each other, to our users, and to being a force for good in the world."
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Other tech giants like Facebook-Meta, Microsoft, Google, and more are also taking harsh measures following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Microsoft recently decided to remove the same Russian state-controlled media outlet from its Microsoft app store. The company also decided to ban advertisements on Russian state-sponsored media, as global tech firms respond to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
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