Ukrainian Forces Rely on Musk's Starlink Systems, Claims Spy Chief

Ukrainian Intelligence has credited Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite systems for their pivotal role on the frontlines

by Faruk Imamovic
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Ukrainian Forces Rely on Musk's Starlink Systems, Claims Spy Chief
© Getty Images News/Mario Tama

Ukrainian Intelligence has credited Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite systems for their pivotal role on the frontlines. The systems have been extensively used by Ukrainian forces across all battlefronts.

Starlink's Undeniable Presence

Kyrylo Budanov, the chief of the Main Ukrainian Intelligence Directorate, recently shed light on this during the annual Yalta European Strategy meeting hosted by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

Emphasizing the reliability and effectiveness of the Starlink systems, he remarked, “They have proven themselves on the front lines. You can say what you want about whether [Starlink systems] are good or bad, but facts are facts.

Absolutely all front lines are using them”.

Starlink's Multifaceted Role in Modern Warfare

The Starlink systems have not just served as a communication aid. According to Budanov, they have played a crucial role in various aspects of the war, from facilitating communication to aiding drone transmissions. "They have played and continue to play a significant role, because so many systems use the antennas, use the Starlink systems themselves, for communications, for drone transmissions, especially in terms of a remote command post and so on,” Budanov elaborated.

However, it's not all been smooth sailing. The Ukrainian Intelligence chief highlighted a coverage gap in the Russian-occupied region of Crimea. “I can absolutely confirm that Starlink systems did not work for a certain period of time near Crimea.

We immediately realized that there was simply no coverage there,” Budanov admitted, keeping the details close to his chest.

Musk's Ethical Dilemma

Elon Musk, the visionary entrepreneur behind SpaceX and Starlink, found himself facing ethical questions regarding his technology's role in the war.

Reacting to a Isaacson book excerpt, Musk shared, “There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol”. Sevastopol, a strategic port city in Crimea, houses a significant portion of the Russian fleet.

Musk continued, “The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor. If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation”.

Ukrainian Elon Musk
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