Elon Musk’s satellite internet service Starlink is in use by the Russian army, Ukrainian military intelligence said on Sunday.
“The Main Directorate of Intelligence of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine confirms the use of Starlink satellite communication systems by the Russian occupiers at the front,” it wrote on Telegram.
The intelligence service also posted a short conversation between what it says are Russian soldiers who mention the use of Starlink. “Radio interception of the invaders’ conversation shows that in order to establish access to the internet, Starlink terminals were installed,” according to the post.
“Yes, there have been recorded cases of the use of these devices by the Russian occupiers. This is starting to become systematic,” Andrii Yusov, a representative of the Defense Intelligence of Ukraine, told Ukrainian website RBC-Ukraine.
Musk’s satellite service, which uses thousands of small satellites in low Earth orbits to beam internet services, has been praised as an important tool in Ukraine’s ability to fight back against Russian forces.
Relations between Musk and Ukrainian authorities have cooled throughout the war, starting with Musk’s 2022 order to his engineers to disable Starlink satellite communications near the coast of Russian-occupied Crimea, allegedly to sabotage a planned Ukrainian drone strike.
Musk reportedly feared that the attack would escalate tensions and potentially lead to a nuclear war.
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