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Parliament challenges mapmakers to mark Crimea Russian territory

March 26, 15:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia's Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications has been tasked with determining whether Google's Russian office, still listing Crimea as part of Ukraine, complies with the Russian law
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexei Filippov

MOSCOW, March 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian parliamentary lawmakers have asked state officials to ensure that Google mapmakers chart Crimea as being part of Russia, the newspaper Izvestia said on Wednesday.

Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications Roskomnadzor has been tasked with determining whether Google's Russian office, still listing Crimea as part of Ukraine, complies with the Russian law, the paper's article said.

United Russia party State Duma deputy Alexander Sidyakin had relayed the task to Roskomnadzor chief Alexander Zharov, also to question Microsoft Bing Maps and Wikipedia’s Russian language page for Russia, which shows Crimea as disputed territory, the newspaper said.

“I also consider it necessary that the agency monitors other designers and owners of mapping services in order to settle all matters connected with Crimea’s and (the city of) Sevastopol’s territorial belonging,” Sidyakin said.

In earlier reports from Itar-Tass, Russia’s largest search engine, Yandex, mapping more than 1,300 towns and cities in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, was said to have already updated its mapping tools to designate Crimea as part of Russia. Starting from March 24, towns and cities on the peninsula had been marked as belonging to Russia.

Russia's biggest Internet company, Mail.ru Group, was reported as being one of the first sites to change Crimea to part of Russia on March 21, the day President Vladimir Putin signed the agreement on accession of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation.

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