Russia is not using Elon Musk’s Starlink, Kremlin says: Controversy explained

The Kremlin said that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet system was not certified to use in Russia. The internet system was not official supplied to Russia which implies that it could not be used, it said after Ukraine, which has been using Starlink for military communications amid the war, alleged that Russia was using it in part of Ukraine that Moscow now controls.

Russia-Ukraine War: Local residents use a Starlink terminal amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, Ukraine.(Reuters)

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said as per news agency Reuters, “This is not a certified system with us; accordingly, it cannot be officially supplied here and is not officially supplied. Accordingly, it cannot be used officially in any way.”

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“That is why here, perhaps, we should not intrude into the discussion between the Kyiv regime and the entrepreneur Musk”, he said.

What Ukraine has claimed on Russia’s Starlink use?

The Ukrainian defence ministry’s Main Directorate of Intelligence said that Starlink terminals were being used by units such as Russia’s 83rd Air Assault Brigade. These units are reportedly fighting near the towns of Klishchiivka and Andriivka in the eastern region of Donetsk.

What has Elon Musk said on Ukraine’s claim?

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Elon Musk said, “To the best of our knowledge, no Starlinks have been sold directly or indirectly to Russia. A number of false news reports claim that SpaceX is selling Starlink terminals to Russia. This is categorically false.”

How has Ukraine used Starlink amid Russia war?

The Starlink satellite service was activated in Ukraine during the early months of Russian invasion after Kyiv requested Elon Musk. The service became a crucial part of the war as it provided internet services in areas of fighting and even beyond. Earlier, Elon Musk even said that he had stopped the use of Starlink during a Ukrainian attack on a Russian naval base on the Crimean Peninsula. His comments prompted an outcry in Kyiv even leading to a US Senate query.

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