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Ukraine Accuses Russian Forces of Exploiting Starlink Network in Occupied Regions - 110 Views

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Ukraine Accuses Russian Forces of Exploiting Starlink Network in Occupied Regions

Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence has asserted that it has verified the utilization of Starlink satellite communications by Russian forces in areas under occupation. Intercepted conversations suggest that Starlink terminals are facilitating internet access for Russia’s 83rd Air Assault Brigade in the Donetsk region.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the proprietor of Starlink, refutes any involvement in business dealings with the Russian government or its military. The company states that if they become aware of a Starlink terminal being used by a sanctioned or unauthorized entity, they conduct an investigation and take necessary measures to deactivate the terminal.

Starlink, known for its satellite-based broadband service, claims that its service does not operate in Russia, without explicitly addressing its functionality in occupied Ukraine.

The satellite system plays a pivotal role in Ukrainian battlefield communications, with Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate, emphasizing that “absolutely all front lines are using them.”

Ukraine’s revelation coincides with recent disclosures about Starlink’s involvement in the conflict, as detailed in a biography of Elon Musk written by Walter Isaacson. The book reveals Musk’s secretive decision to deactivate the Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year. This action was taken to disrupt a potential Ukrainian sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet.

As Ukrainian submarine drones, equipped with explosives, approached the Russian fleet, the loss of connectivity caused them to wash ashore harmlessly, according to Isaacson’s account. Musk’s decision, driven by fears of a potential nuclear response by Russia to a Ukrainian attack on Crimea, underscored the gravity of the situation as conveyed in his conversations with senior Russian officials.


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