Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Ukrainian Forces Use Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellite Systems in War with Russia

Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite systems are being utilized by Ukrainian forces on all fronts in the war with Russia, according to the country’s spy chief. The head of the Main Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate, Kyrylo Budanov, confirmed during a recent meeting that Starlink systems have played a significant role in the conflict. These systems are being used for communication and drone transmissions, particularly in remote command posts. It was also revealed that Starlink coverage did not function for a period near Russian-occupied Crimea. However, further details were not provided by Budanov.

This disclosure follows the release of a biography about Elon Musk, who is the owner of Starlink. The biography, written by Walter Isaacson, includes an excerpt stating that Musk ordered his engineers to shut off the Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast to disrupt a Ukrainian attack on the Russian naval fleet. This action rendered Ukrainian submarine drones ineffective as they lost connectivity and posed no threat. Musk’s decision was driven by his conversations with senior Russian officials that indicated a potential use of nuclear weapons by Russia in response to a Ukrainian attack on Crimea.

In response to the book excerpt, Musk stated on his platform, X (formerly known as Twitter), that the Starlink service provided by his company SpaceX was never active over Crimea. He mentioned that the Ukrainian government made an emergency request to activate Starlink service up to Sevastopol, a port city in Crimea. However, Musk refused the request, as it would have implicated SpaceX in a major act of war and escalated the conflict.

It is important to note that Musk did not respond to CNN’s request for comment on these developments.