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Ukraine's crowdfunded satellite takes over 4,000 images of Russian facilities, military intelligence says

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk June 26, 2024 8:05 PM 3 min read
A satellite image of Russia's Kerch Bridge in occupied Crimea, Ukraine. (Ukraine's military intelligence/Telegram)
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A satellite purchased via a Ukrainian crowdfunding campaign took 4,173 images of Russia's targets in almost two years, Ukraine's military intelligence (HUR) said on June 26.

About 38% of all data received was used to prepare for attacks that caused "billions of dollars" in losses to Russia, according to HUR.

Due to the ICEYE satellite, Ukraine obtained satellite images of 370 Russian airfields, 238 air defense and radio reconnaissance positions, 153 oil depots and fuel storage facilities, 147 missile, aircraft weapons and ammunition depots, and 17 naval bases.

The satellite can also track the permanent deployment points of Russia's troops, their military camps, and mobilization centers, as well as monitor its military-industrial complex and logistics, including the illegally constructed Kerch Bridge in occupied Crimea.

"This makes it possible to trace the dynamics of Russia's movements with its personnel, to reveal its military intentions in order to disrupt them," the agency said.

In addition, the ICEYE is able to accurately identify the type of detected combat aircraft, ships, and air defense systems, as well as record the level of damage to the affected facilities, according to HUR.

Serhiy Prytula, a comedian, politician, and volunteer who leads crowdfunding campaigns to help the Ukrainian army, announced on Aug. 18, 2023 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.

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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