Proceedings of International Conference on Applied Innovation in IT
2023/03/09, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp.97-103

War Damage Detection Based on Satellite Data

Andrii Shelestov, Sophia Drozd, Polina Mikava, Illia Barabash and Hanna Yailymova

Abstract: As a result of the resolution of the armed military conflict on the territory of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the agricultural infrastructure of the latter was marked by large-scale destruction. Thousands of hectares of fields, the harvest from which previously provided both domestic and world needs, were mined, destroyed, damaged by artillery shelling, explosions and movements of military equipment. To restore the affected areas to ensure food security of Ukraine and the world, the state government, with the support of international organizations, must correctly distribute financial resources between affected landowners and farmers. For this, there is a need for accurate identification of war-affected territories. This task can be effectively performed using remote sensing data. In this work, damage to agricultural fields due to military operations is searched for by calculating the relative difference of the vegetation indices based on Sentinel-2 satellite data. Cloud-free composites of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) are compared for the nearest period before and after active hostilities in a specific area (dates and locations are obtained from the ACLED source). Pixels whose relative difference exceeds a given threshold are considered damaged. The survey of the country's territories was conducted from February 24 to September 25, 2022, dividing the dates into biweekly periods. According to the results of the research, such damage to agricultural fields as craters from explosions and shelling, traces of machinery, burnt fields, etc., were found. The relative difference between the minimum and average values of vegetation indices in the affected areas averaged 25% versus 15% for the minimum period before and after the lesion. The detected damaged areas were validated using ACLED data. It was determined that more than 50% of the total number of areas identified as damaged were located within a radius of up to 5 km from the zone of combat activities.

Keywords: Sentinel-2, Relative Difference of NDVI, Damaged Agricultural Fields Due to War, Validation, ACLED.

DOI: 10.25673/101924

Download: PDF


  1. K. Deininger, D.A. Ali, N. Kussul, A. Shelestov, G. Lemoine, and H. Yailymova, “Quantifying War-Induced Crop Losses in Ukraine in Near Real Time to Strengthen Local and Global Food Security”, Food Policy, vol. 115, Feb. 2023, p. 102418, doi: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2023.102418.
  2. D. Rawtani, G. Gupta, N. Khatri, P. Rao, and C. Hussain, “Environmental damages due to war in Ukraine: A perspective,” Science of The Total Environment, 2022, vol. 850, 157932.
  3. N. Kussul, M. Lavreniuk, A. Shelestov, B. Yailymov, and I. Butko, “Land cover changes analysis based on deep machine learning technique,” Journal of Automation and Information Sciences, no. 48.5 (2016), pp. 42-54, doi: 10.1615/JAutomatInfScien. v48.i5.40.
  4. Y. Ma, D. Lyu, K. Sun, S. Li, B. Zhu, R. Zhao, and K. Song, “Spatiotemporal Analysis and War Impact Assessment of Agricultural Land in Ukraine Using RS and GIS Technology,” Land, 2022, vol. 11(10), p. 1810, doi: 10.3390/land11101810.
  5. Y. Aimaiti, C. Sanon, M. Koch, L. Baise, and B. Moaveni, “War Related Building Damage Assessment in Kyiv, Ukraine, Using Sentinel-1 Radar and Sentinel-2 Optical Images,” Remote Sensing, 2022, vol. 14(24), p. 6239, doi: 10.3390/rs14246239.
  6. U. Haque, A. Naeem, S. Wang, J. Espinoza, I. Holovanova, T. Gutor, and U. Nguyen, “The human toll and humanitarian crisis of the Russia-Ukraine war: the first 162 days,” BMJ global health, 2022, vol. 7(9), p. e009550.
  7. S.Filippo, S. Petris, and E. Borgogno-Mondino, “A methodological proposal to support estimation of damages from hailstorms based on copernicus sentinel 2 data times series,” International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications, Springer, Cham, 2020. pp. 737-751, doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-58811-3_53.
  8. G. Ghazaryan, O. Dubovyk, V. Graw, and et al., “Local-scale agricultural drought monitoring with satellite-based multi-sensor time-series,” GIScience & Remote Sensing, 2020, vol. 57.5, pp. 704-718, doi: 10.1080/15481603.2020.1778332.
  9. N. Kussul, A. Kolotii, A. Shelestov, B. Yailymov, and M. Lavreniuk, “Land degradation estimation from global and national satellite-based datasets within the UN program,” 2017 9th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Data Acquisition and Advanced Computing Systems: Technology and Applications (IDAACS), pp. 383-386, doi: 10.1109/IDAACS.2017.8095109.
  10. P. Defourny and et al., “Near real-time agriculture monitoring at national scale at parcel resolution: Performance assessment of the Sen2-Agri automated system in various cropping systems around the world,” Remote sensing of environment, 2019, 221: 551-568, doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2018.11.007.
  11. N. Kussul, S. Drozd, and H. Yailymova, “Detection of war-damaged agricultural fields of Ukraine based on vegetation indices using Sentinel-2,” 12th International Conference on Dependable Systems,” Services and Technologies (DESSERT’2022), December 9-11, 2022, Greece, Athens, doi: 10.1109/DESSERT58054.2022.10018739.
  12. L. Sosa, A. Justel, and I. Molina, “Detection of Crop hail Damage with a Machine Learning Algorithm Using Time Series of Remote Sensing Data,” Agronomy, 2021, vol. 11.10, p. 2078, doi: 10.3390/agronomy11102078.
  13. A. Hazem Ghassan, “Impacts of war in Syria on vegetation dynamics and erosion risks in Safita area, Tartous, Syria,” Regional environmental change, 2018, vol. 18.6, pp. 1707-1719, doi: 10.1007/s10113-018-1280-3.
  14. P. Pereira, F. Bašić, I. Bogunovic, and D. Barcelo, “Russian-Ukrainian war impacts the total environment,” Science of The Total Environment, 2022, vol. 837, p. 155865.
  15. The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). [Online]. Available: about-acled/.
  16. Earth Observation for Ukraine (EO4UA). [Online]. Available:



       - Call for Papers
       - Submission to the Journal
       - Paper Submission
       - Final Paper Submission
       - Important Dates
       - Conference Committee
       - Editorial Board
       - Reviewers
       - Last Proceedings


       - Volume 11, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2023)
       - Volume 10, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2022)
       - Volume 9, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2021)
       - Volume 8, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2020)
       - Volume 7, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2019)
       - Volume 7, Issue 2 (ICAIIT 2019)
       - Volume 6, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2018)
       - Volume 5, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2017)
       - Volume 4, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2016)
       - Volume 3, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2015)
       - Volume 2, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2014)
       - Volume 1, Issue 1 (ICAIIT 2013)


       ICAIIT 2023
         - Photos
         - Reports

       ICAIIT 2022
         - Message

       ICAIIT 2021
         - Photos
         - Reports

       ICAIIT 2020
         - Photos
         - Reports

       ICAIIT 2019
         - Photos
         - Reports

       ICAIIT 2018
         - Photos
         - Reports






Proceedings of the International Conference on Applied Innovations in IT by Anhalt University of Applied Sciences is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

                                                   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

           ISSN 2199-8876
           Publisher: Anhalt University of Applied Sciences

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, all works and proceedings on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.