Ukraine Intel Reports Russia Deploying Starlink Terminals in Occupied Ukraine

Russian Troops’ Systematic Use of SpaceX’s Starlink Terminals: A New Twist in the Battle Between Russia and Ukraine

Russia’s utilization of Starlink has been confirmed by Ukraine’s intelligence, which overheard radio exchanges from the 83rd Assault Brigade in the Donetsk region near towns of Klishchiivka and Andriivka. A recording of a conversation between two soldiers was posted by Ukraine, and a Ministry of Defense representative, Andrii Yusov, informed local media that Russia’s use of Starlink terminals made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX is becoming “systemic.”

Since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, Starlink terminals have been sent to the country and have been seen as greatly helping Kyiv’s battlefield communications. This news comes after Ukrainian troops had noticed Russian forces using the terminals several months prior.

The number of terminals Ukraine believes Russia has or how they were obtained was not specified by Ukraine’s GUR. However, Starlink said it does not do business with Russia’s government or military and is not active in Russia. The company did not mention the possibility of Starlink being utilized in Russian-controlled territories within Ukraine.

According to Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Russian troops may be concealing their use of Starlink from SpaceX by steering a fake GPS signal. While Elon Musk initially offered full support to Ukraine when Russia first invaded and sent “thousands” of Starlink terminals to the country, relations between Musk and Ukraine have since worsened. He rejected Kyiv’s plea to activate Starlink near Moscow-annexed Crimea in 2022 because doing so would have made SpaceX “explicitly complicit in a major act of war.”

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