Ukraine airs disappointment as SpaceX says Starlink technology is not for offensive purposes

Ukraine airs disappointment as SpaceX says Starlink technology is not for offensive purposes

Today, Ukrainian officials were far from satisfied after learning that Starlink’s satellite internet service was not to be used for its military drones, a service so far indispensable in the war with Russia.

Elon Musk’s company previously said its satellite communications were never meant to be “weaponized”. Gwynne Shotwell, chief operating officer of SpaceX, explained at a conference that the service was never intended to be used for “offensive purposes”.

At the start of the conflict, SpaceX donated thousands of SpaceX Starlink dishes to Ukraine, which were thought to keep people connected during such a difficult time and keep Ukraine’s general infrastructure going. . But later, the Ukrainian military began using them to target the enemy, which SpaceX says is against its policy.

The technology has been described as essential as it is needed by Ukrainian surveillance drones to monitor Russian troop concentrations and how and when they are advancing. Since much of Ukraine’s infrastructure has been damaged, including internet infrastructure, SpaceX’s satellites are now indispensable.

“We were really excited to be able to provide connectivity to Ukraine and help them in their fight for freedom,” Shotwell told reporters. “There are things we can do and have done. It was never intended to be militarized. However, the Ukrainians exploited it in a way that was unintentional and not part of any agreement. She added that as long as they are used for families, banks and hospitals, they are fine.

His words angered Ukrainian officials, some of whom said SpaceX had to decide which side he was on. Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak took to Twitter to express his grievances, saying SpaceX must decide whether it is “on the side of the right to freedom” or “on the side of the Russian Federation and its ‘right’ to killing and seizing territories”.

The announcement comes at a time when the United States and other Western countries have begun sending more offensive weapons to Ukraine. Ukraine says it is necessary, although some critics worry about escalation and the possibility of all-out European war.

Ukraine’s Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said in a statement that Musk was “one of the biggest private donors to our future victory,” explaining that SpaceX’s technology donations are now likely worth around $100 million. He said that to date there have been no interruptions in Starlink coverage.

“Starlinks helps save thousands of lives every day,” he said. “The energy infrastructure continues to operate thanks to Starlinks. Doctors perform complex surgeries through the connection provided by Starlinks. It is unclear at this time how Starlink will limit its service.

Musk has been at the center of grief for Ukrainian officials before, speaking earlier in the war of a possible roadmap to peace that could include Ukraine giving up some of its territory. Andrij Melnyk, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany, tweeted: “Fuck you, that’s my very diplomatic response.


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