The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has begun to collaborate with the U.S. Department of State to capture satellite imagery in order to analyze and expose evidence of Russia-perpetrated war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine.


The Conflict Observatory Program analyzes and preserves publicly and commercially available information – including satellite imagery and information shared via social media – to investigate and use in ongoing and future accountability mechanisms. The information is housed on a publicly available online platform, with an aim to help refute Russia’s disinformation efforts and shine a light on abuses in Ukraine.


“Since kicking this effort off earlier this year, we’ve been actively working with our program partners to provide access to geospatial data to support this critical mission area,” said Jim Griffith, NGA’s Source Operations and Management Component director, in a press release.


Earlier this year, NGA began to utilize its unclassified commercial imagery capabilities to analyze and expose war crimes perpetrated by Russia in Ukraine. Since then, NGA has also engaged with the National Reconnaissance Office to add additional commercial imagery capacity to support the requirements of the effort.


NGA’s Global-Enhanced GEOINT Delivery system is providing the State Department with access to unclassified medium-to-high resolution electro-optical imagery. The system also provides access to map-ready, unclassified imagery.


“Throughout the crisis in Ukraine, NGA has expanded the diversity and availability of the unclassified commercial GEOINT available to complement our national assets – all to assist our U.S. government and foreign partners in answering a variety of crisis-related operational and humanitarian requirements,” Griffith said.


Additionally, NGA explained that support for the Conflict Observatory program advances the U.S. government’s long history of providing international humanitarian initiatives with geospatial data and imagery.


“NGA is closely monitoring events in Ukraine and the surrounding region and sharing data and information with partner nations and accountability bodies engaged in responding to President Putin’s war of aggression,” the agency said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.