Apple bows to Russian censorship once more, removes VPN apps from Russian App Store

A few weeks ago, I broke the news that Mozilla had removed several anti-censorship Firefox extensions from its store in Russia, and a few days later I also broke the news they reversed course on their decision and reinstated the extensions. Perhaps not worthy of a beauty prize, as a Dutch saying goes, but at least the turnaround time was short, and they did the right thing in the end.

Well, let’s see how Apple is going to deal with the exact same situation. Novaya Gazeta Europe reports that bowing under pressure from the same Russian censors that targeted Mozilla, the company has removed a whole slew of VPN applications used by Russians to evade the stringent totalitarian censorship laws in the warmongering nation.

Apple has removed several apps offering virtual private network (VPN) services from the Russian AppStore, following a request from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulator, independent news outlet Mediazona reported on Thursday.

The VPN services removed by Apple include leading services such as ProtonVPN, Red Shield VPN, NordVPN and Le VPN. Those living in Russia will no longer be able to download the services, while users who already have them on their phones can continue using them, but will be unable to update them.

↫ Novaya Gazeta Europe

Apple has a long history of falling in line with the demands from dictators and totalitarian regimes, and Russia is no stranger to telling Apple what to do. Earlier this year, Apple was ordered to remove an application developed by the team of the murdered opposition figure Alexey Navalny, and of course, Apple rolled over and complied. Much like Apple’s grotesque suck-up behaviour in China, This stands in stark contrast to Apple’s whining, complaining, and tantrums in the European Union.

It seems Apple finds it more comfortable to operating under dictators than in democracies.


  1. 2024-07-05 6:04 pm
    • 2024-07-05 7:36 pm

Leave a Reply