Ukrainian Intelligence Raises Alarm on Russian Starlink Acquisition

By Consultants Review Team Tuesday, 13 February 2024

The Ukrainian Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) has raised alarm over Russia's procurement of Starlink satellite Internet terminals from Arab countries. This concern was prompted by intercepted Russian communications, which were disclosed on February 13, revealing discussions regarding the acquisition of Starlink technology.

In the intercepted conversation, two Russians were recorded discussing the ease of obtaining the necessary equipment, noting that "The Arabs are providing us with everything: wires, Wi-Fi, router," with the device priced at 200 thousand rubles (approximately $2,200).

This disclosure comes after HUR previously announced the smuggling of Starlink technology into Russia. A report by Ukrainian military news source Militarny on February 10, citing an expert, indicated that the Russian military had begun using Starlink terminals at their installations, procured through intermediary nations.

Despite SpaceX, the company behind Starlink, clarifying that it does not engage in business with the Russian government or military forces, concerns persist. Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder, has vehemently denied allegations of selling Starlink terminals to Russia.

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry corroborated reports of Russian forces utilizing American-made Starlink terminals. HUR spokesperson Andriy Yusov emphasized that this activity "is beginning to become systematic."

In response to this potential threat, the Ukrainian agency has initiated measures to mitigate risks posed by these Russian-operated terminals. Given the sensitive nature of the situation, further monitoring and actions are likely to be implemented to safeguard against any adverse impacts on Ukraine's security and interests.

As tensions persist between Russia and Ukraine, concerns regarding technological acquisitions and military capabilities continue to be closely monitored by intelligence agencies. The revelation of Russia's acquisition of Starlink technology raises questions about the potential implications for regional security dynamics.

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