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Minister says Russia to face 'maximum limitation' in Starlink terminals usage soon

by Kateryna Denisova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 2, 2024 11:05 AM 2 min read
Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov during an interview in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Dec. 14, 2022. (Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Russian troops will soon face "maximum limitation" in the use of Starlink satellite terminals, Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said in an interview with Welt published on April 1.

Ukrainian military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov confirmed in February that Russian forces were using thousands of Starlink terminals in occupied territories of Ukraine. Later, Fedorov said that Kyiv was working with SpaceX company to disable Russia's use of Starlink on the front lines.

Russian soldiers receive Starlink terminals from third countries, so their use "is not a mass phenomenon," according to the minister.

"The only thing I can say now is that we have found a solution to the problem. Ukraine will continue to use Starlink, and Russians will be limited in its use as much as possible. All the necessary decisions have already been made. We will see the result in the near future," Fedorov told Welt.

The minister added he stays in touch with SpaceX founder Elon Musk "if necessary," and their teams work together.

Stanislav Prybytko: Starlinks, networks, and roaming – keeping Ukrainians connected in wartime
It’s a weekend, a sunny summer day. Surrounded by a pond and a field is a base station, which connects thousands of Ukrainians in the south. A car arrives and three engineers get out. Instead of vacationing with their families, they are going back to work. A trench has

In early March, U.S. Democratic congressmen opened an investigation into SpaceX, demanding information on Russia's usage of the Starlink satellite internet terminals. Musk denied that his company had sold any Starlink units to Russia and said that Starlink would not connect to any devices there.

Both Ukraine's military intelligence and media reports said that Russian forces connected Starlink in occupied Ukraine, not on Russian territory.

SpaceX began providing the Starlink terminals to Ukraine shortly after the Russian full-scale invasion in February 2022.

Ukraine heavily depends on Starlink, having reported last year that approximately 42,000 terminals were in operation across the military, hospitals, businesses, and aid organizations. Until now, Russian forces have lacked a similarly secure communication system.

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