Ukraine war: Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm blocks Kyiv from using Starlink technology for drone control

SpaceX has limited Ukraine’s ability to use its satellite internet service for military purposes – following reports that Kyiv has used it to control drones.

At the start of the war, Ukraine was given thousands of SpaceX Starlink dishes – which link to satellites and help people stay connected to the internet.

But the technology is also said to have been used to target Russian positions with drones – which SpaceX says is against the service agreement.

Ukraine has yet to comment on the move.

The Starlink technology “was never intended to be a weapon,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said at an event in Washington DC on Wednesday.

She referenced Ukraine’s alleged use of Starlink to control drones and insisted that the equipment was provided for human use.

Unmanned aerial vehicles have played a key role in the war, having been used by Kyiv to search for Russian troops, drop bombs and counter Moscow’s own drone attacks.

Russia has also been accused by SpaceX founder Elon Musk of attempting to jam Starlink signals.

Ms. Shotwell confirmed it was acceptable for the Ukrainian military to deploy Starlink technology “for comms”, but said they intended “never to use it for offensive purposes”.

She said the company had taken steps to “limit” the Ukrainian armed forces’ abilities to use Starlink offensively — without giving further details.

The executive said she could not answer questions about whether these efforts were the cause of the Starlink service outage late last year.

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Read More: BBC

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