Russia Utilizing Starlink Terminals in Occupied Ukrainian Territories, According to Ukrainian Intelligence Sources

Ukrainian forces have detected the use of Starlink, a satellite internet service developed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, by Russian troops in the Donetsk region. Ukraine’s intelligence agency intercepted radio communications between two soldiers of Russia’s 83rd Assault Brigade near the towns of Klishchiivka and Andriivka, which they said showed that Russia was using Starlink terminals to facilitate its battlefield communications. The Ukrainian military has not specified how many terminals it believes Russia has or how they were obtained, but Starlink has confirmed that it does not do business with Russia’s government or military.

Starlink was sent to Ukraine shortly after Russia began its invasion and has been hailed as an important tool facilitating Kyiv’s battlefield communications. However, tensions have cooled between Ukraine and SpaceX after Musk denied Kyiv’s request to activate Starlink near Moscow-annexed Crimea in 2022. According to Defense One, Russian troops may be obscuring their use of Starlink by sending a fake GPS signal, making it difficult for SpaceX to detect their activity.

Musk initially gave his full support to Ukraine when Russia first invaded, with SpaceX sending “thousands” of Starlink terminals to the country. However, relations have since cooled due to political differences between the two countries and concerns about the potential impact on civilians in occupied areas. The US government has imposed sanctions on both SpaceX and Musk for their ties to Russia, but they have denied any wrongdoing.

By Editor

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