Apple today launched its online store in Russia, bringing direct ordering of its full lineup of products to the world's ninth most populous nation. The launch is being promoted with a large banner on the main Apple page for Russian visitors.
Apple was reported last August to be preparing to begin direct sales in Russia, with the possibility of brick and mortar retail stores following in the future. Apple was reportedly unhappy with its distribution network in the country, particularly with regard to the iPhone, and those distribution issues appear to have spurred Apple to launch its own direct sales there.
Evidence of Apple hiring team members for the Russian online store appeared earlier this year, with those positions based in Cork, Ireland. The company does, however, have a presence in Moscow where it handles iTunes Store, marketing, business sales, carrier relations, and other functions.