Satellite photos give an overview of the Ukrainian crisis from a bird’s eye view The world

WASHINGTON (AP) – Widely available commercial satellite images of the positions of Russian troops stationed within Ukraine provide an overview of the international crisis unfolding from a bird’s eye view. But the paintings, though dramatic, have limitations.

High-resolution photographs taken by commercial satellite companies such as Maxar have recently shown Russian military gathering areas, airfields, artillery positions and other operations on the Russian side of the Ukrainian border and southern Belarus, as well as on the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula. . Ukraine in 2014.

The images confirmed what American and other Western officials had said: Russian forces were located within striking distance of Ukraine. But they were unable to provide convincing information about the net additions or seizures of Russian troops or to determine when and whether the invasion of Ukraine would take place. In such a gradual crisis, even daytime satellite photos can miss significant changes on earth.

Western officials, citing their own sources of information, dispute Moscow’s claim that it has diverted some forces, and they have claimed that the Russians have added another 7,000 troops in recent days. Commercial satellite imagery alone cannot provide this level of real-time detail or draw broader conclusions about Russia’s build-up, such as the total number of its troops deployed.

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“What you get from clothes like Maxar is very good information, but not as accurate and not as timely as the one provided to the US national leadership” through the government’s own system of collecting classified information, said James Stavridis. retired Navy Admiral, who was NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe from 2009 to 2013. “So I would be strongly inclined to what the US government says.”

Before commercial satellite imagery became widely available and widespread on the Internet, Russia, the United States, and other states were able to largely hide their most sensitive military movements and deployments from public scrutiny in near real time. While the public may now have a better idea, these images are not as accurate, comprehensive, or direct as what the U.S. military can collect.

The U.S. military and intelligence services can put together a better picture of what is happening by combining satellite imagery from real-time video, as well as electronic information obtained by aircraft such as the Air Force’s RC-135 Rivet Joint, not to mention information. collected from human sources. The U.S. government also contracts with commercial satellite firms to obtain images as an application and to relieve the burden on the image collection systems needed for other priority information.

Commercial satellite imagery, like timeline imagery, does not provide conclusive evidence of what exactly and why the Russian military is doing.

“You can see something on a base that looks like a base that has a lot of activity,” and draw some broad conclusions. “But in terms of what is being done there and which units, it requires much more information,” said Hans Christensen, who has extensively analyzed commercial satellite imagery to study nuclear weapons developments in China and elsewhere as director of the department. Nuclear Information Project under the auspices of the Federation of American Scientists. Satellite photos give an overview of the Ukrainian crisis from a bird’s eye view The world

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