Ukraine Claims Russian Forces in Occupied Areas Use Starlink Satellite Communications
Ukraine's Defence Intelligence has confirmed the use of Starlink satellite communications by Russian forces in occupied areas, according to intercepted conversations. SpaceX, the owner of Starlink, denies any business with the Russian government or military.
Ukraine Accuses Russian Forces of Using Starlink Satellite Communications
Ukraine's Defence Intelligence has made a claim regarding the use of Starlink satellite communications by Russian forces in occupied areas. According to intercepted conversations, it has been revealed that Starlink terminals are being used to provide internet access to Russia's 83rd Air Assault Brigade in the Donetsk region.
However, SpaceX, the company that owns Starlink, has denied any involvement with the Russian government or military. In a statement, the company mentioned that it does not do business of any kind with sanctioned or unauthorized parties. If a Starlink terminal is found to be used by such parties, SpaceX investigates the claim and deactivates the terminal if confirmed.
Starlink Service and its Role in Ukrainian Battlefield Communications
Starlink, which relies on a network of satellites to provide broadband, has stated that its service will not work in Russia. However, it is unclear whether it will work in occupied Ukraine. The service plays a crucial role in Ukrainian battlefield communications, with the head of the Main Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate stating that "absolutely all front lines are using them."
This claim by Ukraine comes in the wake of revelations about the satellite system's use in the war, as mentioned in a biography of Elon Musk, the owner of Starlink. According to the book, Musk ordered his engineers to turn off the Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year in order to disrupt a Ukrainian sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet.
As a result of the disruption, Ukrainian submarine drones were unable to maintain connectivity and ended up washing ashore harmlessly. Musk's decision, which left Ukrainian officials requesting him to turn the satellites back on, was driven by the fear that Russia would respond to a Ukrainian attack on Crimea with nuclear weapons. This fear was reinforced through conversations Musk had with senior Russian officials.