Apple brings Putin’s opponents app back to App Store

An app run by supporters of Alexei Navalny, one of Putin’s biggest opponents in Russia, is available again on the Russian App Store after it was removed by Apple.

putin russian app

Both Apple and Google took down the app in 2021 after the Kremlin threatened to sue employees of both companies. The Smart Voting app contains detailed information on different Russian political candidates, all opposed to Vladimir Putin’s party, to allow citizens to truly learn about alternatives to voting.

Pressure from the Kremlin to remove the app grew ahead of Russia’s parliamentary elections in September, when Putin had a vested interest in limiting propaganda from opponents.

Now Apple and Google have brought the app back to their respective stores, but the Cupertino company has declined to explain why the decision was made in recent days. In any case, Apple had already blocked all sales of its products in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine, so the decision to bring Smart Voting back to the App Store could be a clear sign of Putin’s criticism.

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