SpaceX denies selling Starlink to Russia amid accusations of smuggling, Ukraine takes action

Starlink terminal at the Russian position in the occupied part of Ukraine
Starlink terminal at the Russian position in the occupied part of Ukraine
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Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate (HUR) has initiated measures to counter the use of smuggled Starlink terminals by the Russian military on the front line, the agency’s spokesman Andriy Yusov said on national television on Feb. 12.

“Russia continues to engage in what is commonly known as parallel importation, or essentially smuggling through intermediary countries,” said Yusov.

Read also: HUR confirms ‘systematic’ use of Starlink terminals by Russian military in occupied territories

While we refrain from specifying particular countries at this stage, it is noteworthy that Starlink is readily accessible within the Russian Federation via open online platforms.”

He added that the utilization of Starlink has become “more systematic and well-established” compared to previous years.

“The aggressors heavily depend on these devices,” noted Yusov.

“Hence, it is imperative for us to neutralize this threat. However, we are not in a position to disclose further details at this time.”

Read also: Elon Musk shut down Starlink over Crimea to prevent Ukrainian drone attack, says CNN

Simultaneously, Yusov clarified that there are currently no assertions that Starlink terminals are officially sold to Russia.

“Presently, Russia not only holds the dubious title of being the top terrorist state but also the leading smuggling state,” he said.

“Therefore, this is an issue that requires immediate attention.”

The Ukrainian military news outlet Militarnyi reported on Feb. 10 that the Russians were reportedly increasingly using Starlink terminals at their positions in Ukraine, which they purchase through third countries.

SpaceX, the company behind Starlink, has said it does not do business with the Russian government or its armed forces and will take steps to deactivate terminals if they are being used by unauthorized parties.

“Starlink is not active in Russia, which means the service will not work in that country,” stated the company.

“SpaceX has never sold Starlink in Russia, nor has it delivered equipment to Russia.”

Read also: SpaceX further limits Starlink service in Ukraine

Later, the use of Starlink terminals by the Russian military in the temporarily occupied territories was confirmed by Yusov in the comment to the RBC-Ukraine news agency.

“Indeed, there have been instances of Russian invaders utilizing these devices, and this trend is becoming increasingly systematic,” he said.

“A number of false news reports claim that SpaceX is selling Starlink terminals to Russia. This is categorically false. To the best of our knowledge, no Starlinks have been sold directly or indirectly to Russia,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk wrote in his post on X (Twitter) on Feb. 11.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine