Skip to content
Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X (formerly Twitter) Elon Musk gestures as he attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center on June 16, 2023, in Paris, France. (Chesnot/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Businessman Elon Musk on Feb. 11 said that his SpaceX company sold no Starlink terminals to Russia, directly or indirectly.

He said this in response to several media outlets and Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) reporting that Russia uses Starlink terminals on the front line in Ukraine.

"A number of false news reports claim that SpaceX is selling Starlink terminals to Russia. This is categorically false," Musk said on his social media platform X.

"To the best of our knowledge, no Starlinks have been sold directly or indirectly to Russia."

In a follow-up statement, Musk said that Starlink would not connect to devices in Russia: "Starlink satellites will not close the link in Russia."

Both HUR and media reports said that Russian forces connected Starlink in occupied Ukraine, not on Russian territory.

Ukraine's military intelligence agency published a clip from an intercepted phone call, where Russian soldiers allegedly discuss having successfully set up a Starlink terminal.

The soldiers are from Russia's 83rd Assault Brigade based in Donetsk Oblast, near Klishchiivka and Andriivka, according to the agency.

Military intelligence spokesman Andrii Yusov told RBC-Ukraine that Russia's use of Starlink is growing to systemic levels.

Yusov also said on air on Feb. 12 that "no one claims that Starlink is officially being sold" to Russia. Moscow is likely acquiring the terminals through smuggling and third-party countries, he clarified.

Ukrainian soldiers previously told journalists or wrote on Twitter that these terminals are being delivered to Russia through intermediaries like Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Russian military uses Starlink inside Ukraine, intelligence confirms
Russia has Starlink terminals and is increasingly using them on the front line in Ukraine, Ukrainian military intelligence confirmed on Feb. 11.

While the reports were vague about the consequences of Russia using this technology, Ukrainian service members told Defense One that this would make their lives more difficult.

Starlink is operated by SpaceX and has been extensively used by Ukrainian forces for military applications.

Musk has spoken out in favor of a peace deal with Russia and was reported to be growing more amenable to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the right-wing commentators his government sponsors.

In a Feb. 8 post on X, formerly Twitter, SpaceX officials said the company "does not do business of any kind with the Russian Government or 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."

Multiple Russian companies advertise Starlink terminals for sale. SpaceX said these sales are scams.

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

In June 2023, the Pentagon confirmed that SpaceX had won a contract from the Defense Department to provide Ukraine with Starlink satellite services.

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
9:50 PM

Media: Zelensky may visit Armenia in near future.

President Volodymyr Zelensky may visit Armenia in “the near future,” the Armenian news outlet FactorTV reported on Feb. 23. Preparations for the visit are currently underway, but the exact date has not yet been confirmed, the outlet reported, citing its sources.
7:23 PM

Canada announces new sanctions against Russia.

Canada's new sanctions will target those who provide Russia with military equipment, offer services such as insurance to Russian soldiers, and otherwise help support the finances and logistics of the Russian state
2:36 PM

Ukraine, Denmark finalize long-term security agreement.

The U.K., Germany, and France have earlier signed similar deals to help Ukraine repel Russia's aggression based on a pledge made by the Group of Seven (G7) last July. Denmark is the first non-G7 country to finalize the deal.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.