The Moscow News reports today that the iPad 2 will be launching in Russia this Friday, May 27, a week or so ahead of its scheduled early June launch date. According to the report, the launch has been moved up because Russian retail chain Svyaznoi broke Apple's embargo and started selling imported iPad 2s on May 12, before the official release date had even been announced. The Moscow News says that private sellers have also been doing a brisk business re-selling iPad 2s in Russia, but it's unlikely that those private sellers, or indeed Svyaznoi, will be prosecuted. Svyaznoi appears to be unrepentant, with the store’s PR rep, Elena Nogotkova telling The Moscow News that all the iPad 2s sold in the store were bought legally in Russia.
Apple’s Russian office has made no comment on the iPad 2’s launch date in that country, but their partners have told The Moscow News that the iPad 2 will be going on sale in the next couple of days in Russia in stores such as Bely Veter Cifrovoi, M.Video, re:Store and z-Store.“Unfortunately, Russia is not among the countries that get Apple’s products first,” she said. “In Europe sales started on April 25. As soon as we got an opportunity to legally buy the iPad 2 for resale, we took it.”
Source: iPad 2 gets earlier Russian release | BUSINESS | The Moscow News