Monday, June 27, 2022

Yandex Maps Makes Russia’s Borders with Ukraine and Other Countries Disappear

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 8 – Vladimir Putin’s contempt for the border between the Russian Federation and Ukraine is obvious, but there is one place where that border and others around Russia have already disappeared completely: Yandex Maps which has announced that its maps won’t be showing political borders anymore.

            Instead, the Russian news agency says, it will be highlighting cities, transportation links like roads and railways, and the location of natural resources. The borders Russian and before that Soviet maps invariably highlighted will no longer be displayed ( and

            This represents a change of major dimensions and clearly sends a message about how Moscow now views the state border that were established in 1991. It tells Russians that as far as their country is concerned, political borders are no longer as important as other kinds, at least with regard to countries bordering the Russian Federation.

            That may seem a small thing to many outside this region, but it is a la in the former Soviet space, where administrative-territorial borders were viewed as fundamental and where atlases showing them were released almost every year and were studied closely by Soviet officials and Soviet citizens.

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