The apps VKontake and Mail.ru, as well as others made by the Russian technology group VK, have been reinstated to the App Store.
The apps had been removed from the app store in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with no information provided as to when users could expect them to return. Now they are back on the app store, but no information has been provided on why.
VKontake and Mail.ru are owned by VK, a technology company group based in Russia. They had been affected by the UK sanctions imposed on Russian-based businesses and as such were taken off the app store.
As reported by Wired, there were concerns that the Kremlin had influenced the VKontake, centred around free speech, and infiltrated positions within the group.
VKontake and Mail.ru were just a couple of the many Russian-affiliated platforms, businesses, and services that were hit by sanctions by the UK government as well as globally.
The sanctions are in response to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which has led to suffering and mass fleeing of Ukrainian nationals over the past six months.
VKontake and VK Group Apps Added Back to App Store
VKontake and Mail.ru were added back to the app store on 18/10/2022, months after their initial removal from the platform.
The app store regularly checks the licenses of apps placing themselves on the store, checking for illegitimate/spammy practices or features.
Apple’s guidelines can be quite stringent. The decision to remove Russian-owned apps from the store came in response to the Ukrainian invasion after pressure from multiple governments to add to the financial sanctions imposed by the world governments on the nation.
It is not clear at this time why these bans to the apps have been lifted, or who was responsible for the decision.
VKontake and Mail.ru can now be accessed from the UK app store on iOS. It is not clear whether they will be removed from the app store again in future.