Digital Transformation

Russia condemns ‘topographical cretins’ Google Maps for Crimea name update

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

August 2, 2016 | 3 min read

The Russian government is none too pleased with Google Maps after a recent update elected to name the Crimea as a Ukrainian region despite the very obvious elephant in the room: Russia’s occupation of the region.

Over the last two years, Russian forces have absorbed the region, a point of controversy Google’s map makers are seemingly intent on probing.

Google Maps updated the region at the weekend with new names for both Russian and Ukrainian users as part of the "de-communization" passed through parliament in Kiev last year.

Google

Crimea

It called for the banishment of Soviet semiology and names from the country in light of the conflict.

“These people suffer from topographical cretinism," said Dmitry Polonsky, deputy chairman of the Council of Crimean Ministers.

"That will get worse after they rename everything, but that's their problem. Russia has its own map services; we do not have to use Google,” reported the Moscow Times.

A mere day later, Google reverted the 900 place names to their original status without explanation.

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Maps have landed the Russians in trouble before in the region after a soldier's GPS-enabled Instagram posts revealed the country's involvement in the Crimea.

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