Pro-Russian Separatists Declare Victory in Ukraine Via Google Maps

Mar 24, 2015 at 11:17 AM ET

The People’s Republic of Lugansk, the breakaway, self-proclaimed pro-Russian separatist nation in the eastern part of the country, has recently appeared in Russian versions of Google Maps—this despite the fact that the vast majority of the world does not recognize its independence.

News of the change spread quickly across pro-Russian social media groups, with hundreds of users celebrating it as a sort of online declaration of independence. As of yet, the unsourced change in Google Maps is only available in Russian.

This isn’t the first time that Google Maps has controversially drawn borderlines in disputed areas in the region. In 2014, it began displaying the Crimean peninsula as a part of Russian on the Russian-language version of the app. Non-Russian versions, however, still showed the peninsula as part of the Ukraine.

Translation: “Wow, on Google Maps the Lugansk People’s Republic is already there. What’s up, Ukrainians? Enact sanctions against the U.S.”

Translation: “Interesting fact. The Lugansk People’s Republic has appeared on Google Maps. At first I thought that the screenshot was fake, but then I checked and found that along with the Lugansk region on the map there’s the Lugansk People’s Republic.”

Translation: “Now we are waiting for the appearance of Donetsk People’s Republic on Google Maps”

Read More:

House passes resolution urging military support for Ukraine (The Hill)
Anniversary Of Crimean Annexation Celebrated With Global Twitter War (Vocativ)
Dispute Between Poroshenko and Billionaire Governor Threaten Ukraine Alliance (The New York Times)