Space for Ukraine: The Impact of the Satellite Data on Ukraine’s Defence Efforts

 Space for Ukraine: The Impact of the Satellite Data on Ukraine’s Defence Efforts

Since September 2022, the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has significantly improved its ability to identify and prioritise enemy targets with the help of the ICEYE satellite. This satellite, funded by donations from Ukrainian citizens to Serhiy Prytula’s charity fund, has proven effective in countering masking techniques and operates in various weather conditions, providing Ukraine with valuable military intelligence. The intelligence gathered has helped to destroy significant amounts of enemy military equipment and inflict notable losses on opposing forces. In this article, we will provide an overview of the latest news on the use of satellite data technologies in Ukraine. 

Ukrainian Intelligence Employs “People’s Satellite” for Enhanced Capabilities

Since September 2022, the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine has significantly bolstered its ability to identify and prioritise enemy targets to inflict significant losses on the Russian troops. This advancement, according to the report of Defence Intelligence of Ukraine on its Telegram channel, can be attributed to the utilisation of the ICEYE satellite, made possible through donations from Ukrainian citizens to Serhiy Prytula’s charity fund.

The deployment of the “people’s satellite” has effectively neutralised the masking techniques employed by Russia to conceal its equipment and warehouses. This space-based asset operates regardless of weather conditions or time of day, providing Ukraine with an unprecedented advantage in military intelligence.

Remarkable results have been achieved during the six months since the acquisition of this space apparatus. The intelligence gathered through the “people’s satellite” has rendered billions of dollars worth of Russian military equipment inoperable. Furthermore, substantial losses have been inflicted upon the enemy’s temporary manpower and military logistics facilities.

The personnel at the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine acknowledge the pivotal role played by the “people’s satellite” in the planning and execution of crucial military operations. The satellite was purchased as part of the “People’s Bayraktar” campaign. Initially, the “People’s Bayraktar” crowdfunding campaign aimed to raise funds to buy unmanned Bayraktar aerial vehicles for the Ukrainian army. However, the campaign surpassed expectations, generating UAH 600 million (approximately 16.3 million euros) in three days. Impressed by the campaign’s success, the Turkish Baykar company generously donated three Bayraktar TB2 drones to Ukraine.

Subsequently, the Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation, led by Ukrainian TV presenter Serhiy Prytula, signed a contract with Finnish satellite-imagery company ICEYE. The agreement secured the provision of ICEYE’s Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite imaging capabilities to the Ukrainian government. The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Serhiy Reznikov, explained that this acquisition would significantly enhance the Main Intelligence Directorate’s effectiveness and save lives by providing high-quality intelligence to combat the Russian troops. On our website, we have covered the news related to the acquisition of a satellite through crowdfunding.

The ‘People’s Satellite’ – A citizens’ satellite for the war in Ukraine

The ‘People’s Satellite’: the Ukrainian crowdsourced satellite

Google Maps Introduces Partial Satellite Image Update for Ukraine Cities

Image credit: Mezha Media /  Google Maps

Google Maps has recently unveiled a partial update to its satellite images for Ukraine, marking the first significant revision since the onset of the full-scale war. The newly released images, which capture the cities of Mariupol, Kyiv, and Hostomel Airport, depict the extent of destruction evident during the spring of 2022. Consequently, these updated images do not pose a risk of revealing any classified military information concerning the Armed Forces of Ukraine. It is worth mentioning that the previously available satellite images of Ukraine predominantly date back to 2021.

Mezha Media, in their investigation, has identified these revised images for specific areas, and they encourage users to contribute any additional satellite photos they come across by sharing them in the comments section.

Devastation in Bakhmut: Satellite Images Reveal the Aftermath of Battles

Satellite view of the school in Bakhmut and high-rise buildings on 8 May 2022
(Image credit: RFE/RL, MAXAR Technologies)

A destroyed school and smouldering residential buildings can be seen in a satellite image on 15 May, 2023  (Image credit: RFE/RL, MAXAR Technologies)

Recently obtained satellite images of the city of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region, as reported by Radio Liberty, demonstrate a grim picture of the widespread destruction resulting from months of intense conflict between Ukrainian and Russian forces.

According to the daily summary provided by the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, only on 16 May Russian troops launched 55 strikes on Ukrainian positions within Bakhmut. The consequences of these relentless attacks are now evident in the newly acquired satellite imagery, showcasing the devastation inflicted upon the city.

The Battle of Bakhmut Seen From Space

More information 

From the first days of the invasion of Russian troops into the territory of Ukraine, we have been informing you about the latest news and opportunities for using satellite data during the war.

To see all our articles, please visit our dedicated page.

Space for Ukraine

Featured image credit: Freepik

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