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AP Decides That Crimea Can No Longer Be Called Part Of Ukraine

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Mounted Cossacks patrol an area near Russian-Ukrainian border near the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, on March 19, 2014. But by snatching Crimea from Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has shown a readiness to redraw Russia's current frontiers and shatter the order that dates from the so-called Belovezhskaya Accords.AFP PHOTO / ANDREY KRONBERG (Photo credit should read ANDREY KRONBERG/AFP/Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

The Associated Press announced Wednesday that it is changing the dateline on all of its stories from Crimea now that the region is being controlled by Russia, and not Ukraine.

The wire service said that it would no longer identify stories written there as coming from "Ukraine." Rather, they will carry the dateline "Crimea."

AP standards editor Tom Kent explained this reasoning in a blog post:

Previously, we wrote “SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP).” But Ukraine no longer controls Crimea, and AP datelines should reflect the facts on the ground.

Therefore, effective this week, we are using the city name and “Crimea”: “SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (AP).”

The decision by a media company to tweak its datelines may seem trivial, but the AP is a powerful organization whose articles are read in thousands of newspapers and websites. Just as its decision to drop the term "illegal immigrant" or NBC News' decision in 2006 to call the Iraq War a "civil war" were seen as notable symbols of the way the mainstream political narrative was changing, so too is its choice about Crimea a potential symbol of the view that Crimea is, for now, fully lost to Ukraine.

Read the full post here.