- Remote sensing technology can track the movements of Russian soldiers.
- Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov previously appealed for satellite data.
- The Canadian company’s assistance is part of growing international support for the defense of Ukraine.
A Canadian satellite builder and operator is providing Ukraine with real-time satellite imagery to help monitor Russian troop movements.
Technology provided by Ontario-based MDA uses remote sensing to track Russian forces on the ground in Ukraine in real time, including at night or when conditions are cloudy, Reuters first reported.
The company received approval from the Canadian government on March 4 to share the footage with Ukraine, Reuters reported.
Ukraine’s armed forces, vastly outnumbered by Russian firepower and troops, have received support from international donors to help mount a defense against the Russian invasion. The countries have provided weapons, expertise and other forms of assistance, but have refused to send troops to Ukraine, fearing it would escalate the conflict.
Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov on March 1 issued a call via his Twitter feed for synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, satellite data to help monitor Russian forces.
“We badly need the ability to monitor Russian troop movements, especially at night when our technologies are blind,” Federov said. noted.
In addition to tracking troops, images from MDA’s technology can detect vehicles, infrastructure and vessels in all weather conditions, MDA CEO Mike Greenley told Reuters.
“We can provide intelligence reports and people can determine what’s happening on the ground or at sea from our radar images,” Greenley told the agency.
Greenley told Reuters the intelligence is sent securely through Western-based trade agencies or governments, and the company has beefed up its security in anticipation of any Russian retaliation.
MDA did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside of normal working hours.
MDA satellite imagery may prove useful in monitoring the 40-mile-long Russian military vehicle convoy which is stationed 18 miles north of Kiev and includes tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and supplies.
Federov’s Twitter call also said imagery and other open-source tools could provide insight into military buildups in neighboring countries as well as refugee flows.
Canada’s support for Ukraine includes sending 4,500 M72 rocket launchers and 7,500 hand grenades to Ukraine, in addition to removing tariffs on Russian imports and easing the immigration process for Ukrainians, reported The Globe and Mail.