In recent developments, Andriy Yusov, a military official, disclosed ongoing efforts to impede Russian forces from acquiring and utilizing high-speed satellite internet terminals. These terminals, manufactured by Elon Musk’s SpaceX under the Starlink project, have become a focal point in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
According to Yusov, Russian forces are procuring Starlink satellite terminals through illicit means from third-party countries. Their escalated deployment along the front lines poses a significant concern for Ukrainian military intelligence. While specifics regarding the acquisition remain undisclosed, Yusov emphasized the pressing need to curb this unauthorized access.
“Contraband from third countries,” Yusov reiterated, when pressed on how Russian forces were obtaining these devices, underscoring the clandestine nature of their acquisition.
The heightened utilization of Starlink terminals by Russian troops in occupied territories has raised alarms within the Ukrainian defense establishment. As Ukraine braces for the approaching two-year mark since the onset of full-scale conflict with Russia, efforts to counter the illicit use of these terminals have intensified.
Yusov confirmed that measures are actively being pursued to obstruct Russian forces from leveraging Starlink terminals to coordinate attacks and maintain communication in occupied Ukrainian territories. This proactive stance underscores Ukraine’s determination to safeguard its national security interests.
In response to inquiries regarding efforts to deter Russia’s utilization of the terminals, Yusov affirmed, “Yes, work is being conducted,” indicating a concerted campaign to disrupt the unauthorized deployment.
However, the Kremlin has refuted claims of official supply or certification of Starlink terminals for use within Russia. Despite assertions to the contrary, Starlink has maintained that it does not engage in any business dealings with the Russian government or military.
In a statement released on Feb. 8, Starlink reiterated that its terminals remain inactive in Russia, emphasizing that SpaceX has neither sold nor promoted its services within the country, nor dispatched equipment to Russian locations.
Starlink terminals, renowned for delivering high-speed internet connectivity, were swiftly deployed to bolster Ukraine’s battlefield communications following Russia’s invasion in February 2022. Their integral role underscores the significance of safeguarding their legitimate usage against illicit acquisition and deployment by hostile forces.
Ukraine’s concerted efforts to prevent unauthorized access to Starlink terminals reflect the imperative to uphold cybersecurity and defend against hostile incursions. As the conflict persists, the resilience of Ukraine’s defense mechanisms remains critical in countering emerging threats and preserving national sovereignty.