Pentagon Acquires Control of Starlink Satellites Operating Over Ukraine

  • Bureau
  • 11:46 AM, September 14, 2023
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Pentagon Acquires Control of Starlink Satellites Operating Over Ukraine
Ukrainian military installs Starlink @via open sources

The Pentagon has received control of a portion of Starlink satellite communication terminals used by the Defense Forces, with Elon Musk facilitating the transfer.

This revelation comes from Musk's biographer, Walter Isaacson, as reported in The Washington Post.

Isaacson explained that Musk's decision stemmed from his desire to distance himself from any involvement in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Musk had intentionally withheld enabling the service in Crimea and certain parts of Eastern Ukraine to prevent its misuse for offensive purposes.

However, the situation has taken a turn, with Musk now choosing to hand over both terminals and control to the United States Army. In a candid conversation with Isaacson, Musk expressed his concern about being inadvertently drawn into a war, stating that his primary intent with Starlink was to provide people with entertainment, not to contribute to a potential nuclear conflict.

Previously, Musk had imposed restrictions on Ukrainian terminals to avoid hindering defense or disrupting military operations. This included secretly instructing engineers not to activate Starlink near the Crimean coast during a potential Ukrainian operation against the Russian naval fleet.

Furthermore, SpaceX had taken measures to prevent Ukraine's military from using Starlink satellite internet for drone control in their conflict with Russia. Currently, the Ukrainian army heavily relies on SpaceX's satellite communications services, facilitating real-time monitoring of the battlefield and offering a significant advantage in military operations.

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