22:33 GMT26 September 2020
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    The US agreed last year to provide spy-satellite imagery and other intelligence to Ukraine but before delivering these images, US officials edit the data.

    The US is providing spy-satellite imagery to Ukraine but the images are considerably edited in order to avoid aggravating Russia or compromising US secrets, according to US media reports.

    The US agreed last year to provide the photos and other intelligence to Ukraine. But before delivering these images, US officials black out military zones on Russian territory and reduce the resolution so that military locations can’t be clearly seen, hence making them less useful to Ukrainian military commanders.

    The images are being obscured for a couple of reasons. The US trying to make it look like they are staying out of the conflict and also to reduce the risk that, if the

    Russians were to attain them, they could gather important intelligence about US satellite capabilities.

    The US effort to keep its distance goes beyond intelligence sharing. Six months ago, the US supplied short-range radars to Ukraine to help its forces locate incoming mortar and artillery fire, but suspended key components needed to make the system more effective for Ukrainian commanders to use the weapons effectively.

    To fill in the intelligence gaps, the Ukrainian government has approached other countries, including Canada, for more suitable intelligence.

    Ukraine has asked the US for high-flying surveillance drones that could provide real-time frontline intelligence. US officials are also discussing the possibility of sending low-altitude drones but have been vague about a confirmation because the US believes Russia will jam their video feeds or shoot them down, as reports US media.

    The US has provided the Ukrainians with a short-range counter-mortar radar system, known as the TPQ-48, which can identify the source of incoming mortar and artillery fire within an effective range of about 4 miles.

    The Ukrainians keep asking US for Javelin missiles, which can destroy heavily armored Russian tanks. So far the US officials have told their Ukrainian counterparts that they can look elsewhere for those weapons.
       

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    Tags:
    NATO, intelligence, military, Ukraine, United States
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