Musk Clarifies No Starlink Terminals Sold to Russia Amid Misinformation

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.12 - 2024 10:24 AM CET

Musk Clarifies No Starlink Terminals Sold to Russia Amid Misinformation.

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Elon Musk, the entrepreneur behind SpaceX, has firmly stated that his company has not sold Starlink terminals to Russia, in direct response to reports suggesting otherwise. These reports, including claims by Ukraine's military intelligence agency (HUR) and several media outlets, indicated that Russia was using Starlink terminals on the front lines in Ukraine.

"Assertions by several news outlets that SpaceX is conducting sales of Starlink terminals to Russia are completely untrue," Musk announced on his social media platform X. He further emphasized, "To our knowledge, Starlink has neither directly nor indirectly been sold to Russia."

Musk also assured that Starlink's service would not facilitate connections within Russia, stating, "Starlink satellites will not establish a link in Russia."

The controversy intensified following the release of an intercepted phone call by Ukraine's military intelligence. The call allegedly featured Russian soldiers discussing the successful installation of a Starlink terminal. These soldiers were identified as part of Russia's 83rd Assault Brigade, located in Donetsk Oblast.

The utilization of Starlink by Russia has reportedly reached "systemic levels," according to military intelligence spokesman Andrii Yusov, complicating the situation for Ukrainian forces who have been utilizing Starlink for military communications.

Musk has previously expressed support for a peace agreement with Russia and has shown increasing openness towards Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government's right-wing advocates.

SpaceX's officials have reiterated their stance on X, stating, "We have no business dealings with the Russian Government or its military. Starlink does not operate in Russia, and the service is inoperative there. There have been no sales or shipments of Starlink to Russia."

Despite advertisements by several Russian companies claiming to sell Starlink terminals, SpaceX labels these as fraudulent.