Support The Moscow Times!

St. Petersburg Drivers Report Strange GPS Problems in City Center

Megapolisonline24 / Instagram

Drivers in St. Petersburg are reporting strange problems with their GPS navigators in the city center, suggesting that an issue already recorded in Moscow has moved to Russia's "cultural capital."

The drivers complain that their navigators show them as located near Pulkovo airport on the city's outskirts, despite the fact that they are actually driving in the center, several Russia news outlets reported Tuesday.

According to the Paper news website, some drivers even say their navigation systems direct them to Pulkovo whenever they selected a destination in the city center.

A similar problem emerged in Moscow earlier this year: Drivers passing by the Kremlin saw their navigation software "teleport" them to the Vnukovo or Domodedovo airports, both outside of Moscow. 

A Moscow-based technology blogger investigated the problem, and concluded that a powerful transmitter operating at random times inside the Kremlin was "spoofing" geolocation signals on the L1 frequency commonly used by civilian devices.

Read more about mysterious GPS glitches near the Kremlin.

Although it isn't immediately clear why these glitches are now occurring in St. Petersburg, Paper suggested they might be connected with a recent visit by President Vladimir Putin. Putin came to Petersburg to take part in meetings of the High Eurasian Economic Council and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, held on Dec. 25-26.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.