GPS is failing users in Moscow; apps like Pokemon Go and Uber are among those affected

GPS is failing users in Moscow; apps like Pokemon Go and Uber are among those affected
What is happening to mobile apps that rely on GPS in Central Moscow? Apps ranging from Pokemon Go to Uber are not working near the Kremlin. Instead, apps that rely on GPS coordinates to work correctly are either shutting down, or showing users to be 18 miles away at Moscow's Vnukovo airport.

Those near the Kremlin trying to grab a ride via Uber cannot give the ride-sharing service their correct location. Pokemon Go players are having trouble in that area finding and catching Pokemon. Even those running the Moscow Marathon last month said that their jogging apps lost track of where they were, and how far they had run once they started approaching the Kremlin. One marathon runner found that the app he was using had added 25 miles added to the distance he had run. Once again, this took place near the Kremlin.

The GPS issues started taking place in June, and seem to come and go in a pattern. Grigory Bakunov, a programmer with Russian internet firm Yandex, believes that the Russian government is playing around with the GPS near the Kremlin to prevent drones from flying over the area. He comes to this conclusion based on the GPS diversion to Vnukovo airport.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said that he recently experienced the GPS issue himself while driving past the Kremlin. He says that he does not know the reason for the GPS malfunction. While someone in the Russian government might know the exact reason why GPS tracking fails near the Kremlin, it appears to be another secret that the Russian people are kept in the dark about. For now, the drone explanation sounds as good as any.

source: AP



1. Bozzor

Posts: 248; Member since: May 02, 2012

Definitely a security measure. It would not impact a serious weapons targeting attempt by NATO, but it does hamper amateurs, tourists and locals. Western nations need to return the favor and have some fun with GLONASS.

5. kirholstov

Posts: 146; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

They are probably just using jammers, so people don't operate drones near strategic infrastructure. Also there are three types of GPS: low-accuracy consumer GPS for mobile phones, etc; high accuracy GPS for construction and monitoring purposes; military GPS that is used only by the US, as it is their system. I think the same can be said about the Russian GLONASS, but GALILEO (EU system) is consumer/business only.

7. spin9

Posts: 310; Member since: May 31, 2014

F@$& pokemon. Every indipendent country must do the same thing to protect itself

8. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Protect themselves from... Pokemon?

9. tyger11

Posts: 295; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Yes, They are monsters, after all. C'mon, it's just common sense, until we can figure out where they're coming from, and just what the hell is going on.

2. lyndon420

Posts: 6836; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

GPS helps our drones with stabilizing their position to a particular location but they can still be maneuvered by remote. The return to home mode would likely be affected though.

3. AlikMalix unregistered

In Soviet Russia the Pokémon finds you.

4. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

There was a story a few days ago on pocketgpsworld News: Russia installing GPS jammers on cellphone towers A worrying report by OEWatch, a newsletter published by The Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, notes that Russia is buying up large quantities of GPS jamming devices which are being installed on cellphone masts in the country.

6. Plutonium239

Posts: 1232; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

That's ok. The cruise missiles don't need GPS tracking.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.