Russian troops are using Starlink terminals, which were sent to Ukraine in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion, according to Ukrainian intelligence. The confirmation comes after intercepting radio communications of Russia’s 83rd Assault Brigade operating near Klishchiivka and Andriivka in the Donetsk region.
The use of Starlink terminals, which connect to SpaceX’s satellites in low Earth orbit to provide internet services, has been hailed as a crucial tool for Kyiv’s battlefield communications. However, the exact number of terminals used by Russia is unknown, and it remains unclear how they were obtained.
Starlink stated on Thursday that it does not do business with Russia’s government or military and that it is not active in Russia. However, the company did not mention the possibility of Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine using its equipment.
SpaceX initially supported Ukraine when Russia invaded by sending “thousands” of Starlink terminals to the country. But relations have since cooled after Musk denied Kyiv’s request to activate Starlink near Moscow-annexed Crimea due to concerns about becoming explicitly complicit in a major act of war.