Ukraine’s top military-intelligence officer said Russian invasion forces in his country are using thousands of Starlink satellite internet terminals, and that the network has been active in occupied parts of Ukraine for “quite a long time.” 

Lt. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov’s comments in an interview suggest that Russia is starting to acquire Starlink terminals, made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, at a scale that could cut into a major Ukrainian battlefield advantage. Ukraine’s government said last year that around 42,000 terminals are used by the military, hospitals, businesses and aid organizations.

Starlink, which is more secure than cell or radio signals, is considered so vital to Ukrainian operations that the Pentagon struck a deal with SpaceX last year to help fund access for Kyiv’s forces. Up to now, Russian forces have had no similarly secure communications system.

Russian private firms buy the terminals off intermediaries who pass off purchases as for personal use and deliver the equipment to Russia via neighboring countries, including former Soviet republics, Budanov said. Russian army units down to company level were seeking to acquire Starlink terminals, often by collecting money for the purchases, he said.... Read More: WSJ