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BBC apologizes after map showing Crimea as part of Russia prompts Ukrainian embassy backlash

BBC apologizes after map showing Crimea as part of Russia prompts Ukrainian embassy backlash
The BBC has apologized after a map it used in a report on a deadly plane crash in Ukraine depicted Crimea as part of Russia, provoking anger from Ukrainian diplomats and social media commenters.

The report on the tragedy appeared on the BBC’s website featuring a map of Ukraine, which had the country’s territory colored yellow.

The rest of the map was grey, including Crimea, which Kiev still considers part of Ukraine despite the peninsula rejoining Russia following a referendum in 2014. The Ukrainian authorities didn’t recognize the vote, insisting that Crimea had been illegally occupied and annexed by Moscow. The Ukrainian stance is fully backed by the UK and other Western nations, who imposed sanctions on Russia due to the move.

The idea that the UK’s largest broadcaster may think otherwise and would describe Crimea as Russian territory has stunned the Ukrainian embassy in London.

“It’s hard to believe our eyes,” the diplomats wrote in a tweet, which included a screenshot of the BBC’s map. They expressed hope that what had happened was nothing, but “an ordinary blunder.”

Ukrainian internet users also lashed out at the BBC, saying that the broadcaster only “added insult to injury” for Ukraine as the country announced a day of mourning after the deadly tragedy. The crash, which happened on Friday night near Kharkov, took the lives of 26 people, mostly cadets of the local Air Force University.

Some tweeters also blamed the broadcaster for recognizing what they called “annexation of Crimea by Russia.” There were even those who went as far as suggesting that the BBC was in Putin’s pocket.

However, the majority agreed that it was likely an oversight and example of “random incompetence” and regretted the declining working standards at the world’s oldest national broadcaster.

The controversial map was later removed from the story and replaced with an image of the debris of the ill-fated plane. The BBC also added a correction to the text, saying that the map was “incorrect” and apologized for the mistake.

Also on rt.com Russia demands answers from Washington on whether the US is facilitating terrorist attacks in Crimea, after NBC report

Last year, Apple and Google faced criticism after complying with Moscow’s demands to show Crimea as part of Russia in its map and weather apps when they are viewed from Russian territory.

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