Google Maps has published high-resolution military and strategic objects of Russia - but not only since the war. The Twitter account ArmedForcesUkr announced over Easter that Google Maps had unmasked military and strategic objects of the Russian Federation.
These are previously hidden map sections in Russia that show launch pads for intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines, radar stations, guarded villas, and many more secret military places with a resolution of 0.5 meters per pixel. Reports that Google had removed the blur were widely circulated on social media.
The news was probably also credible because in many countries Google Maps pixelated images of military and civilian installations with increased protection requirements.
The ArmedForcesUkr Twitter account has been quoted several times by the official account of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. However, the original tweet did not claim that the recordings themselves are new. For example, they show the sunken missile cruiser Moscow in the port of Sevastopol.
At the beginning of the war, Google Maps had deactivated the traffic jam reports in the navigation area of Google Maps for the territory of Ukraine in February 2022. This would have allowed conclusions to be drawn about troop movements and escape routes. Google Maps also uses GPS data from Android smartphones to predict traffic volume. This allows congestion detection. However, Google officially denies this in a statement on Twitter.