Following allegations that Kyiv had used its satellite internet connection to command drones, SpaceX has restricted Ukraine’s use of it for military reasons.
Thousands of SpaceX Starlink dishes, which connect to satellites and aid in maintaining internet connectivity, were provided to Ukraine early in the conflict.
However, it is also said to have broken SpaceX rules by using the technology to target Russian sites.
According to a Ukrainian official, businesses had to decide which “side” they supported.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential adviser, tweeted that they could choose to support Russia and “its ‘right’ to kill and capture lands,” or they could support Ukraine and “the right to freedom.”
The president of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell, stated that Starlink technology was “never meant to be weaponized” on Wednesday during a gathering in Washington, DC.
She referred to the alleged use of Starlink by Ukraine to manage drones while reiterating that the tools had been given to aid in humanitarian efforts.
Unmanned aircraft have been utilized by Kiev to locate Russian troops, drop bombs, and defend against Moscow’s own drone attacks, and they have been crucial to the war effort.
Elon Musk, the creator of SpaceX, has accused Russia of attempting to block Starlink transmissions.
Ms. Shotwell acknowledged that the Ukrainian military may utilize Starlink technology “for communications,” but she emphasized that her goal was “never to have them use it for aggressive purposes.”
Without providing more information, she claimed that the company has taken measures to “restrict” the Ukrainian military’s ability to use Starlink for offensive purposes.
When asked if these initiatives were to blame for Starlink service failures in the latter part of last year, the executive stated she was unable to respond.
How does Starlink function and what is it?
Following its invasion of its neighbor in February of last year, Russia moved fast to restrict social media and shut down regional internet services.
Soon after, the first Starlink terminals were delivered to Ukraine in an effort to keep people connected.
They function by linking to low-Earth orbit satellites.
Other terminals have been supported by other governments in addition to those provided directly by the corporation itself.
Mr. Musk indicated in October that he could no longer support Starlink in Ukraine, but he quickly changed his mind.
The billionaire mentioned the problem once more and conceded that there was a problem at work in a tweet last week.
“The backbone of Ukraine’s connectivity, all the way up to the front lines, is now SpaceX Starlink. The damned if you do part is here “He composed.
“However, we forbid the use of Starlink for distant drone strikes. The damned if you don’t part is at this point.”