Kremlin denies its troops use Elon Musk’s Starlink

By Thomson Reuters Feb 12, 2024 | 3:46 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Monday that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet system was neither certified for use in, nor officially supplied to, Russia, and therefore could not be used.

Ukraine, which has used Starlink for military communications throughout its conflict with Russia, said on Sunday that Russian troops were using Starlink in parts of Ukraine they control.

In a call with reporters, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “This is not a certified system with us; accordingly, it cannot be officially supplied here and is not officially supplied. Accordingly, it cannot be used officially in any way.”

“That is why here, perhaps, we should not intrude into the discussion between the Kyiv regime and the entrepreneur Musk”, he said, referring to the Ukrainian government.

The Ukrainian defence ministry’s Main Directorate of Intelligence said in a statement on Sunday that Starlink terminals were being used by units such as Russia’s 83rd Air Assault Brigade, which is fighting near the towns of Klishchiivka and Andriivka in the eastern region of Donetsk.

In a post on X on Sunday, Musk said: “To the best of our knowledge, no Starlinks have been sold directly or indirectly to Russia.”

“A number of false news reports claim that SpaceX is selling Starlink terminals to Russia,” Musk said in the post on X, which he also owns. “This is categorically false.”

(Writing by Felix Light, Editing by Gareth Jones and Timothy Heritage)