Russia’s Defense Ministry does not plan to declassify the 1:50,000 scale topographic maps used by state defense and security agencies, Rear Admiral Sergei Kozlov, the head of the General Staff’s military topography department, said on Friday.
In early 2010, Yevgeny Dolgov, chief research worker of the Defense Ministry’s 29th research institute, said the most detailed topographic maps would become available to the general public once defense security issues had been agreed.
But Kozlov said: “Proceeding from the modern reality and threats, and taking into account the performance characteristics of potential aggressors’ weapons, declassification of this information is unacceptable.”
However, the rear admiral said 1:50,000 scale maps containing no data on secret facilities could be made available to everyone.
“The decision has been made to use these maps in two variants: classified, designed for state defense and security use; and for open use,” he said.
Kozlov explained that despite modern space technology making it possible to obtain images of remote areas with high resolution and quality, a lot of data on secret objects may not be obtained without immediate presence at the site.
This concerns bridge capacity and the materials used to build them, the depth of rivers and fords and the properties of trees and plants. In addition, data on a number of industrial facilities, technical documentation as well as information on the population of certain inhabited localities are also classified.