Report Shows How Russian Forces Use Musk’s Starlink

Elon Musk’s Starlink has been providing internet service to the Ukrainian military since the beginning of the Russian invasion in 2022. Approximately 42,000 Starlink terminals have been operated by Ukraine since the conflict started.

According to the independent investigative journalism site Important Stories, Russian troops reportedly purchase Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite communications network from private vendors. They want to use these networks in occupied Ukraine by linking them to networks in NATO-member Poland.

Musk’s aerospace business, SpaceX, runs the Starlink devices. IStory journalists claimed to have spoken with executives from three Russian websites that had promoted selling these gadgets.

These terminals have served many purposes, including military communications, drone strikes, and medical facilities, companies, and relief groups. But Ukrainian intelligence has also found evidence that Russian soldiers are utilizing the service, especially in the seized regions of Crimea and the Donbas.

Ukrainian intelligence published new audio evidence on Sunday supporting their claims that Russian forces are building up a Starlink terminal in Ukraine. A Russian speaker confirms that Starlink works and that there is internet in the tiny 12-second film.

The Ukrainian military is still communicating via Starlink, but SpaceX has limited its ability to utilize the service for offensive purposes, such as drone attacks. The Ukrainian army asked SpaceX to activate terminals in 2022 so they could coordinate a drone attack on Sevastopol, Crimea, the city where most of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, personally interfered. In an interview with his biographer, Musk vehemently rejected the suggestion, describing it as a “mini-Pearl Harbor.”

According to SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell, the Ukrainian military leveraged it in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement, which led to the announcement that the business would stop Ukraine from utilizing Starlink for drone attacks in February 2023.

Reports that SpaceX is selling Starlink terminals to Russia are unfounded, according to Musk’s comment on X.

When Russia first invaded Ukraine on an extensive basis, SpaceX sent its Starlink satellites to assist in keeping the internet running in Kyiv, giving Ukraine a significant battlefield advantage, according to Musk.