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Ukraine conflict: Russia deploying Starlink in Ukraine, Ukraine's GUR says

Russia is reportedly deploying Starlink terminals in contested regions in Ukraine, the GUR said. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Russian Armed Forces is reportedly using the Starlink satellite communications system in Ukraine to establish internet connectivity, Ukraine's Main Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) confirmed on 11 February.

Russian forces, such as the 83rd Air Assault Brigade, which are fighting in the contested region of Donetsk, near Klishchiivka and Andriivka, are currently deploying the system at the front, the GUR said. The extent of Russia's deployment of Starlink in the conflict is growing and becoming “systemic”, it added.

Ukraine ascertained that Russian forces were deploying Starlink by intercepting radio transmissions from soldiers while they were attempting to set up the terminals, the GUR noted.

The news follows multiple reports on social media that Russian forces are using Starlink. This led SpaceX to state on X (formerly Twitter) on 8 February that the company “does not do business of any kind with the Russian Government or its military”.

The company continued by saying, “Starlink is not active in Russia, meaning 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.”

Starlink is integral to Ukraine and the war effort as it ensures internet access across the country, including in areas with limited or damaged infrastructure. To ensure access, the US Department of Defense contracted SpaceX to provide its Starlink services to Ukraine in June 2023.

For more information on Starlink in Ukraine, please see Ukraine to receive Starlink services under US deal .

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