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Putin threatens to destroy Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites; Musk Hits Back on Russia

Elon Musk’s Starlink may have just received a warning from Russia.

Elon Musk’s Starlink project seems to have received a severe warning from Russia in a statement that might have serious repercussions. The Starlink map demonstrates that its coverage has reached the majority of the world, with assistance in certain nations being scheduled for years in the future.

The largest nation that is not on Starlink’s waiting list looks to be Russia, and that may not change anytime soon. Mykhailo Fedorov, the deputy prime minister of Ukraine, begged Musk to provide his nation access to Starlink’s services in March due to the continuing Russian invasion.

Later, the creator of SpaceX swiftly and amicably answered Ukraine’s requests. Ukraine was given access to satellite internet in only two days, but not before Musk cautioned customers about the risks of using Starlink during a conflict. Even while SpaceX may not have been directly targeted by Russia as a result of this, Musk’s prompt acquiescence may have made matters worse.

Elon Musk Sent Starlink Terminals to Ukraine
Elon Musk Sent Starlink Terminals to Ukraine after Russian Invasion

Now the issue is whether Russia views Musk’s unintentional assistance of its adversaries as a military danger that has to be handled or whether it is all just “water under the bridge.” The Russian Delegation now seems to be treating SpaceX similarly by criticizing its activities subtly in a warning against the use of commercial satellites and their interference.

From Russia with … concern

This week, the Russian Delegation issued a statement that was later translated into English, warning of the “very hazardous trend” of utilizing civilian and commercial space technology for military objectives, saying that this had “become clear during the events in Ukraine.”

The statement warned the “United States and its allies” about the consequences of including the privatized sector in the nation’s military operations, even though it made no specific reference to any space business.

A “valid target for reprisal” might include “quasi-civil infrastructure,” according to the Russian Delegation, who also said that the “provocative use of civilian satellites is doubtful under the Outer Space Treaty.” Furthermore, it warned that Western nations’ actions would jeopardize the viability of peaceful space endeavors.

Starlink Terminals Arrive in Ukraine
Starlink Terminals Arrive in Ukraine after being Invaded by Russia

Musk hasn’t expressed any opinion on probable Russian misinformation that has been spreading online thus far. The creator of SpaceX previously disclosed that Starlink will not restrict Russian news sources because he views free expression as an absolute.

It remains to be seen whether the Russian Delegation’s latest declaration will force Starlink to stop providing internet service in Ukraine or if Russia would take drastic steps to do so on its own.

“Peaceful Use”

Musk seems to believe that the Starlink satellites are the focus of the Russian statement. The businessman has recently emphasized to Moscow that the service is primarily a means of communication and not a weapon of war. The tycoon said on September 16 that “Starlink is intended for peaceful usage exclusively.”


He didn’t go into further detail. However, he added that “to assist patch the defect in our stars” a few hours later.

It’s significant to note that Moscow’s comments come at a trying moment for the nation in this war. The recent events in eastern Ukraine have left Russia in terrible pain.

In the south and northeast of the nation, close to Kherson and Kharkiv, Ukraine made a quick breakthrough in Russian defenses at the beginning of September and seized 6,000 km2 of its land. These military victories have damaged Russian morale and caused some Russians who support this war to have second thoughts.

With inputs from Slashgear & The Street

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Written by Alex Bruno

Freelance space writer Alex Bruno specializes in covering China's quickly expanding space industry. In 2021, he started writing for SpaceXMania. He also contributes to publications including SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist. When Alex was a small child, he first experienced the space bug after seeing Voyager photographs of alien planets in our solar system. When not in space, Alex likes to go trail jogging in the Finnish countryside.

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