Oxford

Geography textbook changed after Crimea row

A comparison of the two textbooks Image copyright Embassy of Ukraine
Image caption The original textbook (left) showed Crimea a different colour from Ukraine

A geography textbook that prompted a complaint from the Ukrainian embassy for showing Crimea as part of Russia has been changed.

Oxford University Press (OUP) was criticised for descriptions and maps of the peninsula in its Geog.3 title.

Now the publisher has said following feedback from customers its updated textbook "explains the situation in Crimea in more detail".

The Ukrainian embassy said OUP has "corrected its serious mistakes".

The earlier version of the textbook, which is aimed at pupils studying Key Stage 3 and was withdrawn from sale in October, said Russia "took [Crimea] from Ukraine in 2014".

It showed the territory as a different colour from Ukraine on maps and noted that its citizens "voted for it to become part of Russia".

'A grave mistake'

But in a letter sent last year Ukrainian diplomat Igor Kyzym described the vote as a "sham" that "has never been recognised by the international community".

He added that the textbook "misleads" students and the descriptions of Crimea were "a grave mistake by the editors".

In a statement on its website the Ukrainian embassy said the new version "points out that under international law Crimea is part of Ukraine".

A spokesperson for Oxford University Press said the textbook now gives "more details about the events of 2014 and the reaction of the international community".

Kremlin-backed forces seized control of Crimea in 2014 after Ukraine's pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was driven from power.

The territory, which has a Russian-speaking majority, then voted to join Russia in a referendum that Ukraine and the West deem illegal.

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