Ukraine: App helps people boycott Russian goods

A man uses the Boycott the Occupiers app to see where a packet of milk has come from

A smartphone app to help identify - and boycott - goods made in Russia is becoming popular among Android users in Ukraine, it appears.

The app, called Boycott the Occupiers, says it can find out where a product is made - whether in Ukraine, Russia or elsewhere - by scanning the product barcode with the phone's camera. It has already been installed between 10,000-50,000 times.

"The app will advise you if you should buy the product or boycott it," the app description says on Google Play. But the Gazeta.ru website, which is often critical of the Kremlin, quotes experts warning it could "lead to increased tensions between Moscow and Kiev".

The app claims it can also detect Russian companies trying to appear to be Ukrainian or Western, such as the fashion brand Carlo Pazolini or the Greenfield tea merchant.

Russian media analyst Anton Nosik tells Gazeta.ru the app will "cause huge damage to Ukraine's image in Russia". But he adds: "From the point of view of Russian policy in Crimea, it's a godsend!"

Meanwhile, Russian MP Oleg Mikheyev says: "I would advise the smart alecs who make these apps to stop buying Russian gas and other fuels."

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