Coca-Cola map (briefly) shows Crimea as part of Russia
Utter confusion unfolded on Coca-Cola’s page on a Russian social network after the company sent greetings bearing an erroneous map of Russia, later replacing it with an image including Crimea, before erasing it altogether.
The company first released the map minus Crimea, the Kuril Islands and Kaliningrad on its page on Vkontakte (the Russian equivalent of Facebook), on December 30, ahead of New Year’s celebrations across Russia.
“Celebrate winter holidays from Moscow to Vladivostok,” said the greetings illustrated with the map. However, many users were not so happy with the “incomplete” map, so the company quickly deleted the post.
On Tuesday, it again published the greetings, but this time the map was complete and bore the Kuril Islands, the ex-clave of Kaliningrad and Crimea.
“We apologize. The map has been corrected. Hope for understanding,” the company wrote. But later the post disappeared. Now in can only be found in a web cache.
The ‘Crimea included’ map did not go unnoticed by Ukrainian politicians. The Svoboda (Freedom) Party head Oleg Tyagnibok even called for the banning of Coca-Cola in his home country.
“Immediately ban this American company in Ukraine, which de facto recognized Crimea as a part of Russia. I wonder what ... the reaction of the United States Embassy in Ukraine [would] be?” he wrote on his Facebook page.
Coca-Cola is not the first to map disputed Crimea as a part of Russia. In October one of the world’s leading academic publishers, Oxford University Press, issued several textbooks which referred to the peninsula as Russian territory.
Also in October, French atlas maker Larousse released a 2016 edition of its world atlas depicting Crimea as a part of Russia.
Citizens in Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the peninsula, voted for independence from Ukraine at a March 16 referendum in 2014. Ukraine did not recognize the results of the referendum.