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According to Kyiv’s intelligence agency, soldiers from Russia are utilizing Elon Musk’s Starlink terminals to access satellite-based internet service while stationed on the frontlines in Ukraine.
According to a message on Telegram from Ukraine’s GUR unit, there is evidence that Russian forces are utilizing the terminals in Donetsk Oblast, located in eastern Ukraine.
Several days after a US military magazine released a photograph, given by a Ukrainian source, claiming to depict a Starlink terminal at the front line, a report was published. The terminal was seen in a video recorded by a Ukrainian drone during an attack on a Russian location on the front line.
Andriy Yusov, spokesperson for GUR, stated that there have been documented instances of the Russian occupiers utilizing these gadgets. He also mentioned that this pattern seems to be becoming more widespread.
In February 2022, billionaire Mr. Musk’s Starlink played a crucial role in Ukraine’s defense of Kyiv during the invasion by providing numerous terminals.
Kyiv’s forces were provided with a crucial technological edge through the provision of high-speed internet, which allowed for efficient communication, targeting, and battlefield management through specialized software.
According to a biography published last autumn, Mr. Musk denied Ukraine’s use of satellites in Russian-occupied areas when Kyiv expressed interest in using the system to target locations in Crimea.
The choice sparked anger in Kyiv and among the broader population of Ukraine.
On Sunday evening, Mr. Musk stated that the accusations of him selling Starlink terminals to Russia are completely untrue.
On X, he stated that there are multiple false news stories stating that SpaceX is offering Starlink terminals for sale to Russia. However, he clarified that this information is completely untrue. As far as we know, neither direct nor indirect sales of Starlinks have been made to Russia.
The Ukrainian think tank, Black Sea Strategy Institute, proposed that this does not imply a rejection of the fact that Russian forces are utilizing Starlink.
They stated on Telegram that the fact that Russian soldiers in eastern Ukraine are using Mr. Musk’s technology does not contradict this claim, implying that Moscow is acquiring the systems from other countries.
Several Ukrainian news outlets have stated that Russian troops may have acquired the terminals through intermediaries in Dubai, although SpaceX has refuted claims that Starlink is active in Dubai.
In response to the report from the Ukrainian intelligence unit, Colonelcassad, a Russian military blogger approved by the Kremlin, stated that the Starlink terminals could be easily acquired from any third country not subject to sanctions against Russia.
He stated on Telegram that there are numerous countries where one can purchase terminals and safely import them to Russia.
A video was shared by a volunteer group from Russia located in Donbas, Ukraine last week. It allegedly showed numerous Starlink terminals that the group had recently acquired. The validity of this claim and the video itself could not be verified.