A Spravedlivaya Rossiya (A Just Russia) party State Duma Deputy, Oleg Mikheev, sent the Russian Prosecutor General, Yuri Chaika, an official request asking him to check the TripAdvisor website, which shows the Russian-occupied Crimea as part of Ukraine, as reported by the Russian news agency TASS.
According to Mikheev, this could indicate that the organization is conducting undesirable activities in Russia. In the request, a copy of which was made available to the agency, Mikheev writes that he was approached by the editors of the online travel newspaper TOURPROM with a request to raise the issue of the inadmissibility of the use of inaccurate geographic data.
TripAdvisor sells airline tickets and provides hotel information and reservation services, and is widely used in Russia.
As indicated in the statement, "despite the fact that the Republic of Crimea returned to the Russian Federation two years ago, the organization designates Crimea as a constituent entity of Ukraine and not Russia."
In response, the company commented "our geographical classification is determined by the recommendations of the international community. In the case of Crimea, we follow the classification that is currently recognized by the UN."
Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014. Kiev and most Western countries did not recognize the legitimacy of a referendum held on the Peninsula, and as a result sanctions were imposed against Russia. Initially the restrictions were directed against private individuals and legal entities. However, more recently, the sanctions have been expanded and now impact whole sectors of the Russian economy.