Ukrainian intelligence has confirmed that Russian forces are using Starlink after intercepting the radio communications of the Russian 83rd Assault Brigade, which operates near the towns of Klishchievka and Andriyevka in the Donetsk region. A representative of Ukraine‚Äôs Defense Ministry, Andrii Yusov, told local media that Russia’s use of the Starlink terminal produced by Elon Musk’s SpaceX is taking on a “systemic nature.”

The Ukrainian government has been using Starlink terminals as an important tool for communications on the battlefield since Russia began its invasion in February 2022. The GUR did not specify how many terminals it believes Russia has or how they might have been obtained. In a statement released Thursday, Starlink said that it does not do business with the Russian government or military and is not active in Russia. However, no mention was made of possible use of Starlink in occupied parts of Ukraine.

SpaceX initially provided full support to Ukraine during its invasion but relations have cooled since then. According to Brian Clark, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, Russian troops may be disguising their use of Starlink for SpaceX by sending false GPS signals. Musk initially gave full support to Ukraine when Russia first invaded and sent “thousands” of Starlink terminals to the country. However, he rejected Kiev’s request to activate Starlink near Moscow-annexed Crimea because it would make SpaceX “an explicit accomplice in a major act of war.”

By Editor

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