Kyiv, Ukraine (Svidomi) — The Defence Intelligence of Ukraine has confirmed information about the use of Starlink by the Russian military in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, DIU representative Andrii Yusov told Liga.
"Yes, there are cases of Russian occupants using these devices. This is starting to become systematic," the Ukrainian intelligence official said.
Russian stores, including DJIrussia and iMiele, have Starlink terminals on sale.
SpaceX has assured that it does not hold any business with the Russian government and its military.
"Starlink is not active in Russia, meaning the service will not work in that country. SpaceX has never sold or marketed Starlink in Russia, nor has it shipped equipment to locations in Russia," the company said in a statement.
At the same time, SpaceX has promised to deactivate the terminals if it finds out that a sanctioned party is using them.
"If SpaceX obtains knowledge that a Starlink terminal is being used by a sanctioned or unauthorised party, we investigate the claim and take actions to deactivate the terminal if confirmed," the company said.
According to Pentagon spokesperson Jeff Jurgensen, the United States is aware of reports of possible satellite communications use by the Russian military, Defence One reports.
However, Jurgensen recommends contacting Ukrainian partners to get the latest information.
Oleh Kutkov, an engineer from Kyiv who works with Starlink satellites, commented on the information about the Russians' use of terminals.
"Terminals are actively purchased and resold by Russian resellers, which they do not hide at all. The purchases are made through third countries, using fake individuals. Payment is made in the same way. It is impossible to track and cover up these schemes. Our (Ukrainian - Ed.) volunteers are also searching for terminals in all countries and paying with different cards in the same way," Kutkov writes on his Facebook page.
He adds that the terminals operate only on Ukraine's territory, including the temporarily occupied territories.
"Our forces also need communication. It's impossible to distinguish in a conditional 20 km cellular network where the terminal is and where the front line is," the engineer explains.
Earlier, reports of the use of Starlink satellites by the Russian military in the temporarily occupied territories of eastern Ukraine started to spread on social media.
Svidomi talked in detail about the situation in the explainer.