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Russia may have bought satellite images of Ukraine's objects from US companies - Budanov

Russia may have bought satellite images of Ukraine's objects from US companies - Budanov Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate Kyrylo Budanov (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Maria Kholina

The head of Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence (MDI), Kyrylo Budanov, hasn't ruled out the possibility that Russia might have been purchasing satellite images of objects in Ukraine from American companies, according to his comment to

"All countries buy them, and we are no exception," he noted.

According to Budanov, this is purely a commercial service.

"They (the Russians) have used commercial images before," the head of MDI said.


Earlier, The Atlantic reported that Russia's long-range strikes with cruise missiles are likely conducted using satellite images provided by American companies.

According to a military source quoted in the article, the sequence is clear: a satellite takes pictures of the area, and then a missile lands a few days or weeks later. Sometimes, another satellite is sent to obtain additional images, perhaps to assess the damage.

"The number of coincidences, where the images are followed by strikes, is too high to be random," the source said.

The article also cites several examples where requests for images of objects in Ukraine coincided with strikes against them.

"The suspicious cases have added up, and because many satellite-imagery companies offer a backlist of archived images, marked with dates and coordinates, it’s possible to browse tens of thousands of images taken of Ukraine and notice suggestive patterns," the article reads.

Indeed, satellite images also preceded strikes in urban areas - in Lviv, just before March 26, 2022, someone tasked a satellite with looking at a factory used for military-armor production.

"It, too, was struck. In late January of this year, someone commissioned a commercial-satellite company to take fresh images of Kyiv, just before the city was hit by a missile barrage," the author writes.