Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate has confirmed cases of Russian forces using Starlink satellite internet terminals on the frontlines.
“Yes, there are recorded cases of Russian occupiers using these devices. It is starting to become systemic,” said Andrii Yusov, a Main Intelligence Directorate spokesperson, in comments to RBK-Ukraine.
Ukraine’s intelligence warns Russia’s military is increasingly exploiting Starlink’s satellite internet network. Radio interception of the Russian conversation shows that Starlink terminals were installed to establish access to the Internet, for example, in units of the 83rd airborne assault brigade of the Russian Federation. The brigade operates in the Donetsk Oblast near Klishchiyivka and Andriyivka.
As was earlier reported by the American outlet Defense One, according to its anonymous sources, the Ukrainian troops first recorded the use of Starlink satellite internet by Russia on the front lines several months ago.
Starlink provided thousands of user terminals to Ukraine after Russia’s invasion began in 2022. Elon Musk said the service is not meant for use while in active combat, although Ukrainian forces have used it both for civilian and military communication.
In February, SpaceX said the company “does not do business of any kind” with the Russian government or its military.
“Starlink is not active in Russia, meaning the 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,” the SpaceX said.
However, Russians can easily purchase Starlinks from abroad and then bring them back to distribute to their forces, Ukrainian sources said. Multiple Russian companies still advertise Starlinks for sale, including iMiele.ru and DJIRussia.
- To Elon Musk from occupied Ukraine: you don’t know our struggle
- Musk confirms thwarting major Ukrainian attack in Crimea
- Bloomberg: US Senator demands probes of Elon Musk for blocking Ukrainian attack on Russian Navy
- No, Elon Musk. Ukraine aid is the ultimate investment
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX bars Kyiv from using Starlink tech for drone control claiming it violates service terms – BBC
- EU accuses Musk-owned Twitter of amplifying Russian propaganda