Canada's MDA providing Ukraine with satellite imagery to fight Russia

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A satellite image by Canada's MDA Inc, which said it is providing Ukraine with real-time satellite images taken at night and through cloud cover to support its fight against Russia, is seen of the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada taken January 21, 2022. Image taken January 21, 2022. MDA/Handout via REUTERS

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OTTAWA, March 8 (Reuters) - Canada's satellite builder and operator MDA Ltd. (MDA.TO) is providing Ukraine with near real-time satellite images to track Russian troop movements even at night or through cloud cover, Chief Executive Officer Mike Greenley said on Tuesday.

"We can deliver intelligence reports and people can make determinations of what's going on the ground, or on the sea, from our radar imagery," Greenley said in a Zoom interview. "It's all about... doing the right thing and giving Ukraine the support that they need."

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's minister of digital transformation, made an appeal to the international community on Twitter a week ago, asking for synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite data.

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"We badly need the opportunity to watch the movement of Russian troops, especially at night when our technologies are blind," Fedorov said on March 1.

With the war in its 13th day, the main Russian assault force heading towards Kyiv has been stuck on a road north of the capital. But to the south, Russia has made more progress along the Black and Azov Sea coasts. read more

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a "special operation" that it says is not designed to occupy territory. read more

In the SAR images, "you can see groups of vehicles, you can see changes to buildings, you can see changes to bridges, you can see ships at sea through all weather conditions day and night," Greenley said.

The intelligence is communicated securely to Ukraine through Western-based commercial agencies or governments, he said. MDA received approval from the Canadian government on Friday to share the SAR images of Ukraine, Greenley said.

Asked whether he feared Russian retaliation, Greenley said his company had adopted a "slightly heightened security posture".

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Reporting by Steve Scherer Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Bernadette Baum

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