Vladimir Putin's forces have been left out in the open after key positions were reportedly 'exposed' on Google Maps.
Writing on Twitter, the Ukrainian Armed Forces said that the search engine had given access to stunning photographs which display important strategic locations of the Russian army.
Sites said to be visible online include a nuclear weapons storage base in the city of Murmansk in northwest Russia, and air bases in the east of the country.
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetso and Russia's advanced Su-57 fighter jet can also be seen.
Twitter account @ArmedForcesUkr — which has been cited before by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence — suggested Google had made an active decision to unblur the pictures.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s former spokesperson, Luliia Mendel used the reports to thank the tech giant, writing: “Google revealed on its maps all strategic and military objects of the Russian Federation. Thank you Google.”
Open-source intelligence account OSINT UK tweeted: “Google Maps has stopped hiding Russia’s secret military & strategic facilities.
“Allowing anyone in the public to view. Open sourcing all secret Russian installations: including ICBMs, command posts and more with a resolution of 0.5m per pixel.”
Google however has denied that any changes have taken place, and claim the images were never blurred or obscured from the public.
A spokesperson from Alphabet replied to OSINT UK's claims by writing: “We haven’t made any blurring changes to our satellite imagery in Russia.”
For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.
Some Twitter users have also said it is possible that the images are several years old, and may not reflect the current build of the Russian military.
Others pointed out that Western intelligence agencies are likely to have their own methods of satellite surveillance and are therefore unlikely to use a commercial platform.
One Twitter user commented: "It's hilarious to assume the government doesn't have much better satellites they control with near live coverage of Russia."
OSINT UK has stood by its claims that Google has unblurred the images, however, and said that the "unintentional changes" could have followed "increased demand on 3rd party satellite imagery" in Russia due to the war.
Source: Read Full Article