Science

Ukrainian military reports Starlink failures in areas recaptured from Russia

Elon Musk in Brownsville, Texas, USA on August 25, 2022. ADDRESS LATIF / REUTERS

These failures in the Starlink network, deployed in Ukraine by Elon Musk to provide high-speed and secure Internet connections in the field, have led to “catastrophic” loss of communication, according to the Financial Times.

On Friday, several Ukrainian officials reported that part of the Starlink system provided by SpaceX had stopped working in several areas taken over by the Ukrainian military, the Financial Times reported.

Elon Musk, the owner of SPaceX, equipped Ukraine with the Starlink system in the early days of the conflict at the request of Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Fedorov. This technology gives the Ukrainian army high-speed and secure Internet access via satellite in conflict-affected areas.

System failures were reportedly reported by Ukrainian forces in areas recaptured from the Russian army, in particular around Kherson and Zaporozhye. Similar phenomena have also been reported around Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk. However, the power outage will not be massive, and some areas, such as the Izyum district, will remain unaffected.

According to a senior Ukrainian official quoted by the Financial Times, these failures would have resulted in a “catastrophic” loss of communication. Since the beginning of September, the Ukrainian army launched a counteroffensive. Having captured the Liman, it continues its advance both to the east and to the south, to the Kherson region. At the moment it is difficult to establish with certainty the reasons for these failures. Neither the Ukrainian government nor Elon Musk would like to react.

“What happens on the battlefield is classified,” the American billionaire contented himself with the comment, which, however, did not deny it. Last Monday, Elon Musk drew the ire of several Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, after he proposed on Twitter a peace plan based on self-determination of the four regions annexed by Russia, Ukraine’s recognition of the annexation of Crimea, and Ukraine’s neutrality.

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