The Coca-Cola Company has officially apologized to Ukraine for publishing on Russian social media a map of Russia that included Crimea, which was illegally annexed by the Kremlin in March 2014.
"I can only apologize for this as it simply should never have happened," wrote Clyde C. Tuggle, senior vice president of the global beverage giant, in a letter to the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington dated January 6.
The letter reads that the map "was prepared by an outside agency without Coca-Cola’s knowledge or approval."
On December 30, Coca-Cola Russia posted a holiday greetings message to the Russian social-media site VKontakte along with a map of the country dotted with Christmas trees.
The map, however, sparked an angry response from Russian users who complained it excluded several regions, including Crimea.
On January 5, the company issued an apology on its official VKontakte page, along with a new map that included the Black Sea peninsula. The new map generated a fresh wave of outrage from Ukrainians.