Apple removes VK Music and other VK apps from its App Store


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to have knock-on effects for Russian companies of all kinds who do business with western companies. The latest example: Apple has pulled iOS apps from Russian social-media giant vKontakte (VK) from its App Store globally.

The spur was sanctions by the British government, according to a statement from Apple. “In order to comply with these sanctions, Apple terminated the developer accounts associated with these apps, and the apps cannot be downloaded from any App Store, regardless of location. Users who have already downloaded these apps may continue to use them.” VK has put out its own statement stressing that the apps will continue to work.

This isn’t just about VK’s flagship social network app – Russia’s equivalent to Facebook – though. The pulled apps include its music streaming service VK Music. For context on VK Music and streaming in Russia, read our most recent country profile (published just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February), as well as this report on a session in our Sandbox Summit conference in June 2021, when WMG’s Vladimir Yurchenko talked about the Russian market, and VK’s role for the music industry.

Written by: Stuart Dredge