Ukraine can no longer use the Starlink satellites of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s aerospace company, for military use. This is reported by the British public broadcaster BBC. Instead, Kyiv would also use the technology to monitor drones.
Ukraine received thousands of dishes connected to Starlink satellites in the first weeks of the war, allowing people to stay connected to the internet. However, Russia was quick to block local internet services and social media. The technology would reportedly be used to hit Russian targets, which is at odds with SpaceX’s policy.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell stated yesterday at an event in Washington DC that Starlink technology was “never intended to be used as a weapon.” She also stressed that the material was provided for humanitarian use. In itself, the army is allowed to use the technology, but ‘not for offensive purposes’.
Shotwell also indicated that the company had taken steps to “restrict” the military’s use of the technology for offensive purposes without providing further explanation. An adviser to President Volodimir Zelensky stated that SpaceX must choose which “side” it is on. They can support the “Ukrainian right to freedom” or choose the Russian “right” to kill and take territory,” he wrote on Twitter.