Google Maps’ satellite images reveal the full scope of Russian military assets

The globe appears to have taken note of the degree of daily information provided by services such as Google Maps. Recently, a Twitter account supporting Ukrainian forces published photographs of Russian military installations that were visible on Google Maps.

Google has, as stated in the caption, granted access to Russian military and key sites. The tweet was likely an effort to demonstrate that Google had taken a stand against Russian aggression. However, according to a Google official who talked with The Verge, the material was in the public domain far before the Ukraine crisis.

Military installations visible to the public

After the advent of Google Maps Street View, the blurring of photos to protect the privacy of individuals became widespread. This approach has been expanded to include military institutions. According to The Verge, the French Air Force’s base 705 appears pixelated on the site.

On occasion, Google Maps users have detected approaching airplanes at these locations or even while in flight. The U.S. Air Force’s Nellis Air Force Base and the iconic Area 51 do not receive the same treatment. Google’s objective is to maintain as much as possible in the public domain, including Russian airbases.


The Twitter account is not an official account of the Ukrainian armed forces, so it may have become enthusiastic about the possibility of viewing critical Russian locations in the public domain.


Obviously, military organizations have access to superior images of opponents and do not rely on Google Maps as a source of intelligence. It might aid professionals in open-source intelligence in determining the real casualties suffered by the Russian Air Force as a result of the invasion. Even before President Putin disclosed them officially, we noted at the outset of the conflict that traffic data from Google Maps also acted as a signal of military movement.


Google has already taken a stand by suspending ad sales in Russia, blocking access to Google Pay in the nation, and prohibiting Russian state media from advertising on YouTube, according to The Verge.

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