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Military intelligence: Crowdfunded satellite had 'very important role' in Sevastopol attack

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 20, 2023 3:09 PM 2 min read
Ukrainian public and political figure Serhiy Prytula, who leads crowdfunding campaigns to buy equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces, gives an interview on September 15, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Vitalii Nosach/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images)
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A satellite purchased via a Ukrainian crowdfunding campaign last year has "brought countless benefits" to the country's armed forces, Ukraine military intelligence agency (HUR) said on Sept. 20.

The ICEYE satellite allows Ukraine "to receive critically important intelligence for combat operations on a daily basis," HUR reported.  

In particular, HUR said that the satellite played a "very important role" in the Sept. 13 attack on Sevastopol, which hit a Russian landing craft and a submarine.

The landing craft was "functionally destroyed" and the submarine suffered "catastrophic damage" in the attack, according to U.K. intelligence.

HUR said that Sept. 20 marks a year since Ukraine received the satellite and thanked all those who donated to the campaign.

On Aug. 18, 2023, Serhiy Prytula, a comedian, politician, and volunteer who leads crowdfunding campaigns to help the Ukrainian army, announced that his charity had bought a satellite for the military.

The Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation signed an agreement with the Finnish company ICEYE after initially fundraising $17 million to buy Bayraktar attack drones. The Turkish manufacturer of the drones, Baykar, refused to take the money and instead offered three drones to Ukraine for free.

The contract with ICEYE stated that the company would transfer the capabilities of one of its satellites already in orbit to the Ukrainian government.

Additionally, ICEYE would provide access to imagery from other satellites, allowing Ukraine to "receive radar satellite imagery on critical locations."

Until the purchase of the ICEYE satellite, Ukraine did not have its own satellite in orbit and therefore relied on satellite imagery from its allies for the first six months of the full-scale Russian invasion.

Ukrainian charity buys satellite for the army. How will it help fight against Russia?
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine has relied on foreign partners when it comes to space intelligence. Ukraine doesn’t have its own satellite in orbit. That is why it requests satellite imagery from its allies in order to track Russian troop movements and document Russia’s
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