Without the Starlink satellite constellation, Ukraine would have capitulated long ago. It resists to the invader thanks to the high-tech terminals of the American billionaire, boss of SpaceX.
Only three days after Russia invaded Ukraine, while the ground infrastructure was gradually destroyed by bombs, the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of digital, Mykhailo Fedoro, sent this tweet to the American billionaire Elon Musk: “While you are trying to colonize Mars, Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine! If your rockets land successfully from space, Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civilians! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations.”
The answer came a few hours later: “Starlink service is operational [Editor’s note: over Ukraine]. More terminals are on the way.
The information war
Word kept. The satellites of Starlink, a subsidiary of Elon Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, have been positioned over Ukraine. They are part of a constellation of satellites allowing access to the Internet. To date, some 1,800 telecommunication satellites have been deployed in low earth orbit. 12,000 are to be deployed by 2025.
Elon Musk has had more than 1,000 terminals delivered (free of charge) – they have been modified into “cybermode” which makes them “unbreakable” by the Russians. The whole thing is at a level of technology inaccessible to Europe for at least 30 years…
Starlink helps the Ukrainian Air Force to track down and destroy Russian tanks. While Ukraine has faced power and Internet outages since the Russian invasion began, the drones it uses in the field can use the Starlink network to stay connected and provide intelligence.
We understand the interest of these spacecrafts in a country at war where the terrestrial infrastructures are -or risk to be- destroyed by bombs. We know that information (and disinformation) is a formidable weapon of war. Hence the need to control access to the means of mass communication. And, in particular, to social networks.
Thus, thanks to Starlink, drones can be directed to drop anti-tank munitions to help repel the Russian attack.
Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Elon Musk for his help and invited him to visit the country once the war is over.