Ukrainian intelligence believes that Russia is using technology company SpaceX’s Starlink satellites in the occupied territories of eastern Ukraine. The inquiry was told by the message service In Telegram having captured a conversation between two Russian soldiers talking about the installation of Starlink satellite modems.
The use of satellites is significant, as they provide the area with an internet connection that is important for the battles.
Ukrainian forces fighting on the front lines have been able to communicate through chat applications without having to rely on telephone or radio networks, which would be easier to disrupt.
If Ukrainian intelligence is correct, this advantage has now been lost and the Russian internet connection also works in the occupied areas of eastern Ukraine.
SpaceX’s managing director Elon Musk has denied that his company sold Starlink satellite routers to Russia. Starlink has commented on Ukraine’s intelligence information by writing – also in X, owned by Musk – that the company does not cooperate with the Russian government or military in any way.
The American newspaper Wall Street Journal writethat Russian forces have been suspected of having taken possession of Ukraine’s Starlink routers, which it would have managed to use for its own use.
In addition, the publication tells about Ukrainian media reports, according to which Russia would have acquired technology through third countries.
It is not possible to buy Starlink systems in Russia, and it should not be possible to use them in Russia. The blocking is based on positioning data built into Starlink’s satellite systems, which allows the company to regulate their area of use. Guardian though tells from discussions spread online, according to which Russia has been suspected of circumventing the blockade.
Starlink IT were originally Musk’s show of support for the defensive war against Russia. Pretty soon after the start of the war of aggression, the billionaire donated the satellites to the use of Ukraine in order to secure important communications.
However, as the war has dragged on, Musk’s interest in charity has waned.
Last year, SpaceX stopped funding Ukraine’s Starlink satellites, and the United States ended up paying for the mission.
In addition, Musk has intervened in the use of satellites. In his biography published last year, Musk toldthat he ordered the Starlink satellites in Crimea to be cut off in 2022 in order to thwart a planned surprise attack on the Russian navy by Ukraine.
Musk justified his decision by saying that he was afraid that Russia would respond to the attack with nuclear weapons.