Ukrainian Armed Forces have made an astonishing announcement on Twitter. It claimed that Google Maps has unblurred Russian military bases and that everyone can see the variety of weapons in 0.5 meters/pixel resolution.
The Ukrainian tweet went, “Google Maps has opened access to Russia’s military and strategic facilities.” However, Google later clarified that it hadn’t done any of it. The Russia-Ukraine conflict is now turning into an information war that both countries want to win. However, such claims could create new problems for companies and the general public.
Google Maps, Russia & Ukraine’s Claim
The above-embedded tweet is in Ukrainian, and Google translates it to “GOOGLE MAPS HAS OPENED ACCESS TO RUSSIA’S MILITARY AND STRATEGIC FACILITIES. Now everyone can see a variety of Russian launchers, intercontinental ballistic missile mines, command posts, and secret landfills with a resolution of about 0.5 meters per pixel.”
ArsTechnia first reported the development. The publication even called the development a “boon for open-source intelligence analysts.” However, soon after, a Google spokesperson clarified that no such move had been made by the company.
Google’s comments on the issue mean the Ukrainian claim had no credibility. And that it was, at best, a mistake, and at worst, planned misinformation. Russia has been trying to control the war narrative since day one. The country has left no stone unturned in that regard.
For starters, Russia banned western social media platforms and even went after Wikipedia to control the narrative. In its latest move, it wants to fine Google and Wikipedia for spreading false information. However, there’s no such stream of control or false information coming out of Ukraine.
So far, Ukraine has kept its defense, and the Ukrainian President himself has been actively participating in dialog with the world. However, the Ukraine Armed Forces’ tweet on Google Maps unblurring Russian sites raises concerns.