The Starlink satellite system granted to Kiev by US billionaire Elon Musk recently was said to have continuously encountered problems in areas where Ukraine counterattacked Russia.
Ukrainian officials and soldiers say that the Starlink satellite communication system sometimes does not work
Starlink – a product of the company SpaceX – was provided to Ukraine by billionaire Elon Musk from the early days of the conflict.
In June 2022, SpaceX said it had shipped 15,000 Starlink devices to Ukraine since the end of February 2022. This device theoretically allows the Ukrainian military to have a reliable and powerful communication system.
Ukrainian servicemen use these systems to coordinate counter-attack missions or request artillery support.
Meanwhile, ordinary Ukrainians use Starlink to stay in touch with relatives at home and abroad.
Thanks to this system, Ukrainian soldiers can operate drones, receive intelligence and keep in touch with each other.
However, as the Ukrainian military has stepped up its counterattack in recent weeks, incidents are occurring regularly, which has a certain impact.
Sometimes these incidents have “catastrophic” consequences, said a senior Ukrainian government official, who asked not to be named.
A government official told the Financial Times that the signal outage had caused severe communication disruptions within the country’s military.
Another source said that the lack of internet connection led to an increase in the number of emergency calls from the military to the helpline.
According to this person, this situation happened most on the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia battlefields but also appeared on the battlefields of eastern Ukraine.
From the front, three Ukrainian soldiers also confirmed their Starlink system stopped working between battles.
A special forces soldier said that many Starlink devices were not working in the newly recaptured regions of Ukraine in Kharkiv province.
Roman Sinicyn, the coordinator at a fund that funds the Starlink system for the Ukrainian armed forces, told the Financial Times that the problem may have been that Musk’s SpaceX company blocked the waves in the aforementioned areas. to make sure Russian soldiers can’t use Starlink technology.
Information on the areas that Ukraine regained control had not been released at the time of the disconnection.
However, two other sources in the Ukrainian military reported that their Starlink equipment was still operating normally in the area east of Izyum and southern Kherson province.
Meanwhile, billionaire Musk has commented that the Financial Times article is not standard in some details, but does not talk about the problem of disconnection.
“The report is not standard. The article gives false information that SpaceX is paid by (the US government) to provide services, while only a small part. Providing Starlink has cost SpaceX $ 80 million and children. this number will exceed 100 million USD by the end of the year. And about the information on the battlefield, it is classified, “Mr. Musk wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, US congressman Adam Kinzinger – a pro-Ukrainian – called for the blackout “should be investigated” as a “national security matter”.
Mr. Musk’s contribution is important because in modern warfare, with stronger opponents, having a powerful communication satellite network is considered an important “weapon”.
Thanks to the supply of the Starlink system, Mr. Musk was once considered a “hero” in Ukraine.
However, his reputation in this Eastern European country was damaged after the billionaire earlier this week proposed that Kyiv recognize the Crimea peninsula as Russia’s, maintain its neutrality, and hold a referendum. The United Nations monitors the four provinces that Russia claims to have annexed.