War in Ukraine puts spy satellites for rent in the spotlight

AURORA, Colo.—Ukrainian forces chasing Russian tanks and tracking troop movements are aided by imagery from a growing number of commercial spy satellites, giving kyiv access to intelligence that was once the domain of only a few. governments.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on his neighbor coincided with a boom in the number and sophistication of commercial surveillance satellites, with hundreds now in orbit. Company officials say they pass data to US and allied governments, sometimes directly to authorities in kyiv to help them repel the Russian invasion force, as well as to humanitarian groups to help map the chaos and to evacuate civilians.


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