The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has reported that Russian cartographic service Yandex.Maps accidentally revealed the exact location of hundreds of military facilities in Israel and Turkey, as well as two NATO military bases.
Some parts of the terrain in Israel and Turkey are clearly “blurred” beyond recognition on the Russian service’s maps, according to FAS Research Associate Matt Korda’s report.
Comparing the territories with images from Google Earth, the research associate said he was able to identify many military sites, including large airfields, ports, bunkers, small buildings in urban areas that are not marked in the service from Google, some of which are reportedly completely secret. In total, he found about 300 such places.
TLDR: Yandex has selectively blurred out 300+ military facilities in Turkey and Israel. Many sites were already known, but many others look completely innocuous through sat imagery (e.g. apartment blocks like this). Blurring indicates that they likely have a military function. pic.twitter.com/Hu9UyCSsF1
— Matt Korda (@mattkorda) December 10, 2018
“Included in the list of Yandex’s blurred sites are at least two NATO facilities: Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) in Izmir, and Incirlik Air Base, which hosts the largest contingent of US B61 nuclear gravity bombs at any single NATO base”, he said, adding that no Russian facilities have been blurred, including “its nuclear facilities, submarine bases, air bases, launch sites, or numerous foreign military bases in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, or the Middle East”.
Matt Korda also mentioned in the report that almost the entire territory of Syria is depicted in “extremely low resolution, making it nearly impossible to utilize Yandex for analyses of Syrian imagery”.