The U.S. Is Investigating SpaceX For The Use Of Starlink By The Russian Military

Amid worries that the Russian military would use SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine, the US has opened an investigation into the program. The investigation was started by House Democrats in response to rumors that Russia may have violated US sanctions by placing Starlink terminals in areas of Ukraine under its jurisdiction.
The Washington Post reports that Representatives Jamie Raskin and Robert Garcia demanded information from SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell regarding any complaints they had regarding Russia’s illegitimate acquisition of Starlink terminals. The lawmakers voiced worries that Ukraine’s security, the lives of Ukrainians, and US national security could all be seriously threatened by Russia’s use of Starlink.

The investigation highlights the critical role of Starlink in Ukraine’s military operations since Russia’s invasion two years ago. SpaceX rapidly provided Starlink terminals to Ukraine following Russia’s attack, with the Defense Ministry purchasing hundreds of new terminals in June 2023.

Despite SpaceX’s support for Ukraine, there are concerns about the company’s broader influence on the conflict. Lawmakers fear that Starlink could give Russia a significant advantage, particularly after reports that Russian forces are increasingly using Starlink satellite communication systems.

Recent media reports and confirmation from Ukrainian intelligence suggest that Russian soldiers in Ukraine are indeed using Starlink terminals. In response to these reports, Elon Musk stated that no one officially sold terminals to Russia.

The SpaceX probe highlights the intricate problems that arise when technology is used in contemporary warfare. The role that businesses like SpaceX play in international security will probably come under closer examination as long as the turmoil in Ukraine persists.

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