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Do Russian soldiers also use Starlink?

US billionaire Musk's Starlink satellite internet service was actually supposed to support the attacked Ukraine. But according to findings from the Ukrainian secret service, the Russian occupiers are also using the technology.

According to Ukrainian military intelligence, Russian troops used Starlink terminals for their attacks. Ukrainian radio surveillance intercepted conversations from the Russian occupiers that proved this, the HUR military intelligence service said on Telegram. The authority also released an audio file that is said to come from the occupied side of the front area. A man's voice can be heard saying, among other things, in Russian: “Starlink works, there is internet.”

In recent weeks, numerous reports have appeared in the Ukrainian media that Russian troops in the occupied part of Ukraine are also using Starlink. The US portal “Defense One”, citing anonymous sources in the Ukrainian military, reported that Russian soldiers began using Starlink in the war zone months ago. There were also reports that the Starlink terminals ended up with the Russians through intermediaries in Dubai. This cannot yet be proven.

Two people in the Donetsk region use a Starlink terminal.

The company SpaceX, which operates Starlink, recently emphasized that it does not do business with the Russian government or the Russian military. “SpaceX has never sold or marketed Starlink in Russia and has not delivered any equipment to locations in Russia,” US billionaire Elon Musk’s company wrote on the X platform (formerly Twitter) last Thursday. If SpaceX learns of cases in which Starlink terminals are being used without permission, the company will investigate and, if necessary, shut down the terminal, it said.

However, Western technology components are regularly found in Russia's weapons arsenal, as the leadership in Moscow is increasingly able to circumvent sanctions by importing goods via third countries.

Starlink plays a major role for Ukraine in defending itself against the Russian war of aggression that has been going on for almost two years. After the Russian invasion on February 24, 2022, SpaceX made numerous Starlink terminals available to Ukraine and initially did not charge any fees for their operation.

In the meantime, however, there have been resentments in Kiev – for example when Musk announced a few months ago that he had prevented a Ukrainian attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet by refusing to activate Starlink in the region around the annexed Crimean peninsula.

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