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Suspilne: Ukraine 'working with SpaceX' to disable Russia's use of Starlink on front lines, Minister says

by Dmytro Basmat February 20, 2024 1:16 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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During an interview with Suspilne on Feb. 19, Ukraine's Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov revealed that Ukraine is "working with SpaceX" to find a solution to disable Russia's use of Starlink satellite terminals in temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

"We found an algorithm, proposed it to SpaceX, and now we are in communication with them on how to prevent such cases," Fedorov said during the interview.

According to media reports, Russian forces have begun to use Starlink terminals, manufactured by SpaceX, more actively on the front line, offering high-speed internet access in remote and war-torn regions.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk has denied that the company has ever sold or supplied the equipment to the Russian military.

Fedorov noted that Starlink terminals are likely being procured through intermediaries in third countries, making it nearly impossible to trace.

Fedorov emphasized the need for a nuanced approach to disable Russia's use of Starlink, as broadly disconnecting the terminals would hinder Ukraine's ability to operate drones in occupied territories.

"There is another way to ensure that our Starlinks work while others do not. We are working with SpaceX on this," Fedorov added.

Fedorov noted that SpaceX worked to provide algorithmic support for the Israeli government throughout its conflict with Palestine.

Despite the previous support, SpaceX has not yet made progress to shut off Russian internet connection in occupied Ukraine.

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

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