Coca Cola Map Ukraine
This Coca Cola advert featuring annexed Crimea in a map of Russia has caused outrageVKontakte

Ukrainians are calling for a boycott of Coca Cola after the soft drinks giant published a map of Russia including Crimea, whose annexation has been condemned as illegal by the international community.

The map appeared on Russian social networking site VKontakte on December 30 2015, initially without Crimea, Kaliningrad and Kuril islands, with were annexed by Russia in March, 2014, in the wake of an uprising against the pro-Russian government in Kiev.

But after Russian users of the network protested, Coca Cola updated the map to include the annexed regions on January 5 2016.

"Dear members of the community. We sincerely apologise for the situation. Map fixed! We hope you will understand", the company wrote in an accompanying posting.

However the move did not go down well with Ukrainians, and within hours there was a call for a boycott of Coca Cola products.

MP Mustafa Nayem, a member of the governing Petro Poroshenko Bloc, writing on Facebook called for Ukrainians to "Refuse to buy the company's products and at the same time recall that in no country in the world, including Coca Cola's homeland the USA, is Crimea the recognised territory of Russia."

Later the company also issued an apology to Ukrainians, and removed the advert entirely.

"We apologize for the misunderstanding. We do not support any political movements and parties. Our task is to produce high-quality beverages. We are working for the sake of peace and adhere to the rules of international law", they said in a statement to Ukrainian Pravda newspaper.

Russia's annexation of Crimea was condemned by western political leaders, and the UN called on all member states and international organisations not to recognise or imply recognition of Russian sovereignty of the territory.

In the wake of the annexation, Russia was subjected to a series of economic sanctions by the USA and the European Union, while a conflict between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces in east Ukraine has cost more than 5,000 lives.