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Russia redraws its maps to include Crimea

24 March 2014, 20:46

Moscow - Russia on Monday redrew its official maps to include Crimea after annexing the peninsula, even though the move has not been internationally recognised.

Maps on the Kremlin and government websites include Crimea, describing it as the "youngest region of Russia".

Russia's absorption of Crimea has drawn international condemnation and sparked the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.

Russian troops have seized Ukrainian military bases on the mostly Russian-speaking region of two million people since a 16 March independence referendum.

Several of Russia's most popular websites including the main search engine, Yandex.ru, have also changed their maps.

But on a parallel site for Ukrainian users, Yandex.ua, it continued to show Crimea as part of Ukraine.

Yandex, which is based in Moscow, wrote on its official blog last week that "maps will be different for different countries. That is Crimea will be shown according to the official position of each country."

Yandex said it would also change the way it presented news, with stories about Crimea being classed as domestic news for readers based in Russia.

The Russian language version of Google shows Crimea with a dashed border line, used for "disputed" boundaries.

Russia's biggest Internet company, Mail.ru, was one of the first sites to change Crimea to part of Russia on 21 March, the day that President Vladimir Putin signed the agreement absorbing the peninsula.

Russia's television channels have for several days included Crimean towns in their national weather broadcasts.

One Russian bank used the change as an advertising opportunity, covering the side of a building in central Moscow with a map of Crimea and the slogan "Russia and Crimea together forever".



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