Russian forces claim to have captured Elon Musk’s satellite internet terminal as a booty in the Donetsk region, where fighting has escalated in recent weeks.
The commander of the Tsarskie Wolves organization said in an interview that Russian fighter jets in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) captured a Starlink satellite terminal as a bounty.
Dmitry Rogozin, the former head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, who underwent a successful operation after being wounded in Donetsk, also told reporters that the Russian military has acquired a wide variety of enemy booty in the DPR, including high-tech equipment. said he did.
Meanwhile, the local Russian media quickly Conclusion Since the Russian side acquired Starlink subscriber equipment, there was an opportunity for the Russians to study these terminals and use them in the war against Ukraine.
Last November, Russian state media TASS report The country is preparing to build a network of space-based satellites called “Skifs” to provide affordable high-speed internet access.
There is no evidence of this. You’d think they’d be gleefully marching in front of the camera to prove their haul.
— Tim White (@TWMCLtd) January 23, 2023
According to local media reports, Russian experts may create “replacement” signal reception points, which could pose a number of problems for the Ukrainian military during operations.
For example, in October, Russian media reported that the invading forces were using the Tirada-2S satellite communications electronic jamming system against Starlink.
Against this background, these claims may provoke anxiety among Ukrainian officials. Last month, Russian arms makers said evolved A Starlink terminal communication detection radar called Borshchevik that was being tested on the battlefield.
Russia created the Bolshevik complex to look for Starlink terminals that use Ukrainian forces for rapid communications and command and control of front-line forces. A mobile direction finding complex can detect the location of a Starlink terminal. pic.twitter.com/8luCDrXdtO
— Dana (@dana916) December 19, 2022
There are media claims that Borshchevik is “designed to detect and determine the position of Starlink terminals within a 180-degree sector at a distance of up to 10 kilometers.” However, the EurAsian Times was unable to independently corroborate these assumptions widely publicized in the Russian media.
There is speculation that Moscow was constantly devising strategies to destroy the Starlink terminals. Russian media reports, based on expert opinion, said in October that a large number of missiles with a target engagement range of at least 500 kilometers would be needed. obliterate starlink satellite network.
Ukraine has disputed claims that Russia seized the terminal, which could irritate Elon Musk, who owns SpaceX’s Starlink network. Musk has previously claimed that the terminals supplied to Kyiv worked smoothly. Musk even went so far as to say that Russia is trying everything to destroy these terminals.
Starlink and the Ukrainian War
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Fedorov asked Musk to allow SpaceX’s Starlink satellites to be used in Ukraine shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Musk immediately took the request and responded on Twitter with the following: More terminals are on the way. “
A few days later, in March 2022, Musk claimed that Russia had jammed Ukraine’s Starlink terminals for hours at a time. However, he also added that Starlink was working fine after the software upgrade.
“Starlink has, at least so far, resisted hacking and jamming attempts,” Musk said on March 25.
Since Starlink terminals began operating in Ukraine, Starlink terminals have significantly supported Kyiv’s military operations against Russian forces.As previously reported According to the EurAsian Times, the Ukrainian military has allegedly used Starlink to launch drone attacks on Russian tanks and positions, especially in areas with poor infrastructure and no internet access.
It may be appropriate to note the alleged seizure of Starlink terminals by Russian soldiers more than a month before Bloomberg. report Ukraine will receive over 10,000 additional Starlink satellite dishes from SpaceX. The device has helped provide internet amid Russia’s attacks on communications infrastructure.
At the time, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Federov announced that the lingering financial problems around the terminal had been resolved as several European countries stepped up to cover the costs.
“SpaceX and Musk are quick to respond to problems and help us,” Federoff told Bloomberg. Federov also said that “there is no substitute for satellite connectivity”, adding that the 10,000 new terminals he has already received will add to the 22,000 he claims will be used to “stabilize the connection in critical situations”. Did.