Tech

Read Tim Cook’s Email to Apple Employees on Russia-Ukraine Conflict

By Ipsita Kabiraj / March 2, 2022

Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent an email to employees discussing the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. In his email, Cook detailed the actions taken by the company in reaction to the unrest and crisis. He said that Apple would be matching donations to relief funds made by employees at a ratio of 2:1 since February 25.

Cook mentioned in his email that the company has been in touch with every employee located in Ukraine, helping them and their families in any manner possible. Apple has also paused all product sales in Russia, as well as limiting Apple Pay and other services. Additionally, they have removed RT News and Sputnik News from the App Store outside Russia. To ensure the safety of Ukrainian citizens, traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine have also been disabled.

Cook ended the email with a call for unity and courage. "This moment calls for unity, it calls for courage, and it reminds us that we must never lose sight of the humanity we all share," he wrote, adding, "In these difficult times, I take comfort in knowing that we are united in our commitment to each other, to our users, and to being a force for good in the world."

Read Tim Cook's full Email to Apple Employees

A copy of Cook's email was obtained by The Verge, which you can read below in its entirety, except for an internal email address that's been redacted.

I wanted to take a moment to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

I know I speak for everyone at Apple in expressing our concern for all of those affected by the violence. With each new image of families fleeing their homes and brave citizens fighting for their lives, we see how important it is for people around the world to come together to advance the cause of peace.

Apple is donating to humanitarian relief efforts and providing aid for the unfolding refugee crisis. We are also working with partners to assess what more we can do. I know that many of you are eager to find ways to support as well, and we want to help amplify the impact of your donations. Starting today, Apple will match your donations at a rate of 2:1 for eligible organizations, and we will make this retroactive for donations to those organizations since February 25. Please visit the Employee Giving Portal to learn more.

We are working to support our teams in Ukraine and across the region. In Ukraine, we have been in contact with every employee, assisting them and their families in any way we can. For our Ukrainian team members located outside of the country that may need support, please contact [email redacted]. And for any employee who needs any support, please visit the People site for available resources.

As a company, we are taking additional actions as well. We have paused all product sales in Russia. Last week, we stopped all exports into our sales channel in the country. Apple Pay and other services have been limited. RT News and Sputnik News are no longer available for download from the App Store outside Russia. And we have disabled both traffic and live incidents in Apple Maps in Ukraine as a safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens.

We will continue to evaluate the situation and are in communication with relevant governments on the actions we are taking.

This moment calls for unity, it calls for courage, and it reminds us that we must never lose sight of the humanity we all share. In these difficult times, I take comfort in knowing that we are united in our commitment to each other, to our users, and to being a force for good in the world.

Also read: Russia Restricts Twitter, Facebook & Instagram During Ukraine Attack (VPNs Can Still Help)

Earlier, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Information, Mykhailo Fedorov, had made a public plea to Apple. In his open letter to Cook, Fedorov urged to halt the supply of Apple services and products to the Russian Federation, including blocking access to the App Store.

Also read: Russia's Internet Censorship Campaign Intensifies Causing a Spike in VPN Usage



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