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Russian forces are using Elon Musk’s Starlink in occupied areas, Ukraine army intelligence says

  • Ukrainian military intelligence claims that Russia is using Starlink terminals in occupied Ukraine.

  • He said he confirmed the use of Starlink by intercepting radio communications from a Russian unit in Donetsk.

  • Starlink says it does not deal with the Russian government or military.

Russia is using Starlink terminals in occupied areas of Ukraine. Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR) has stated.

Ukrainian intelligence confirmed that Russia is using Starlink after intercepting the radio communications of Russia’s 83rd Assault Brigade, which operates near the towns of Klishchiivka and Andriivka in the Donetsk region.

He posted an audio clip that he said showed the exchange between two soldiers.

Andrii Yusov, representative of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, said local media that Russia’s use of Starlink terminals produced by Elon Musk’s SpaceX was taking on a “systemic nature.”

Starlink terminals, which connect to the company’s satellites in low Earth orbit to provide Internet services, were sent to Ukraine shortly after Russia began its invasion. They have been hailed as an important tool facilitate communications on the kyiv battlefield.

Confirmation from Ukraine comes later media reports this week that said Ukrainian troops had detected Russia’s use of the terminals several months ago.

Ukraine’s GUR did not specify how many terminals it believed Russia had or how they might have been obtained.

Starlink said in a statement Thursday that it does not do business with Russia’s government or military.

The statement said Starlink is not active in Russia and has not sold or shipped equipment to the country. However, he did not mention the possible use of Starlink in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.

“If SpaceX becomes aware that a Starlink terminal is being used by a sanctioned or unauthorized party, we investigate the claim and take action to disable the terminal if confirmed,” it said.

However, Russian troops may be hiding their use of Starlink from SpaceX by sending a fake GPS signal, Bryan Clark, a senior researcher at the Hudson Institute, told Defense One.

A Starlink antenna covered with camouflage netting used by the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donetsk region, December 2022.NurPhoto/Getty

Musk initially threw his full support behind Ukraine when Russia first invaded, and SpaceX shipped “thousands” of Starlink terminals to the country, but relations have cooled since then.

He revealed that in 2022, denied Kyiv’s request to activate Starlink near Crimea, annexed to Moscow, where Ukraine was planning a drone attack against the Russian navy, because doing so would have made SpaceX “explicitly complicit in a major act of war.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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