Ukraine spots Russian use of Starlink terminals

Ukraine spots Russian use of Starlink terminals

The Ukrainian intelligence revealed Russian forces are using Starlink satellites for connectivity in occupied lands. 

Reuters reported, Kyiv's main intelligence agency said that the Russian army is using Stalink terminals produced by SpaceX, and stated the terminals are shaping up to be their “systemic” application.

"Cases of the Russian occupiers' use of the given devices have been registered. It is beginning to take on a systemic nature," said the Ukrainian defence ministry's Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) quoted spokesman Andriy Yusov.

The GUR agency detailed that Starlink terminals were being used by units like Russia’s 83rd Air Assault Brigade, and it had intercepted a conversation between two soldiers discussing the set up of the terminals. It was not disclosed how the Russian army came in posession of the Starlink equipment. 

SpaceX shipped off Starlink terminals to aid Ukraine in their defensive efforts against Russian offensive, and had provided vital communication on the battlefield. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk had said on X, the social media platform he also owns, that the company has had not sold any Starlink terminals to Russia “directly or indirectly”.

In a reply to a post on X which claimed terminals were being acquired in Dubai by Russia, Starlink said: “SpaceX does not do business of any kind with the Russian Government or its military. 

“Starlink is not active in Russia, meaning service will not work in that country. SpaceX has never sold or marketed Starlink in Russia, nor has it shipped equipment to locations in Russia. If Russian stores are claiming to sell Starlink for service in that country, they are scamming their customers. 

“Starlink also does not operate in Dubai. Starlink cannot be purchased in Dubai nor does SpaceX ship there. Additionally, Starlink has not authorised any third-party intermediaries, resellers or distributors of any kind to sell Starlink in Dubai.

“If SpaceX obtains knowledge that a Starlink terminal is being used by a sanctioned or unauthorised party, we investigate the claim and take actions to deactivate the terminal if confirmed.”

The Russian government has denied it uses Starlink equipment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "This is not a certified system with us; accordingly, it cannot be officially supplied here and is not officially supplied. Accordingly, it cannot be used officially in any way."


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