The Russians direct long-range cruise missile strikes on Ukraine using satellite images purchased or ordered from American space companies. This was told to The Atlantic journalist Graham Wood by a representative of one of the Ukrainian military departments, who prefers to remain incognito. According to the military man, satellite companies that create and sell such content store archives of images, with dates and coordinates, as well as requests for these images, and the patterns noticed by specialists are difficult to write off as a coincidence.

The number of instances in which images are accompanied by bumps is too great for this to be a coincidence. The sequence is clear: the satellite takes pictures of the place, and in a few days or weeks, a rocket falls there. Sometimes another satellite is sent to get additional images later, perhaps to check the extent of the damage.

Graham Wood cites several examples out of hundreds of detected cases: in March 2022, American companies received at least 9 requests for a picture of an airfield near Myrhorod, and on April 2, 2022, Russian missiles hit there. A few days later, unknown persons again requested a photo of the airfield. The situation was the same with the destruction of the armored vehicle plant in Lviv in the spring of 2022, and at the end of January 2024, when someone instructed an American satellite company to take fresh pictures of Kyiv – just before another missile attack. Such photos are inexpensive – a pre-order will cost the client $1000 – $1200 dollars, and the pictures that are available generally cost several hundred dollars.

Kateryna Chernohorenko, Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister, says that American space companies support Ukraine, and, of course, do not sell satellite photos directly to the Russians, but most likely they order and Buy images through third-party intermediaries, according to a scheme similar to the purchase of Starlink terminals by the occupiers, with the only difference that foreign business partners of American firms act as third parties in the acquisition of satellite images.

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