Since the early stages of the war, Russia has been losing the satellite communications battle in eastern Ukraine to the Pentagon-owned Starlink constellation. The Russian military has failed to block the internet in Ukraine and all its attempts to limit or intercept data flows have failed.
The new satellite system that Starlink has put into space for the Pentagon includes classified technologies that allow Nazis trapped in the Mariupol steel mill to access networks and the internet even underground.
Starlink and SpaceX highlight Russia’s limitations in telecommunications. That a power like Russia has not resorted to cyberwarfare in Ukraine or been unable to compete with the Pentagon is another sign of its weakness and technological backwardness as far as artificial intelligence is concerned.
From the first hours of the Russian operation, Ukrainian relay stations, transmission towers and the entire Ukrainian telecommunications infrastructure were military targets of Russian artillery with high-precision weapon systems. The Ukrainian telecommunications system was annihilated within hours, until the Pentagon put into action its latest and most innovative asset: Starlink. In less than twenty minutes, all of eastern Ukraine was connected to the fastest network that has existed since the advent of the internet. This network gradually expanded and coexisted without any interference with the Russian network.
In western Ukraine, where Starlink has not been fully activated, the internet connection leaves much to be desired. In the east, the Pentagon offers a new network that appears to outperform the best networks currently in operation.
Starlink provides telecommunications access to Ukrainians as well as Russians, for one obvious reason: it allows real-time detection, location and identification of all Russian soldiers, vehicles and equipment connected to the internet, including, in addition to dedicated systems, all mobile phones in the possession of people in eastern Ukraine and western Russia.
Starlink has thus replaced a country’s existing infrastructure with its own digital infrastructure in low-Earth orbit. Thanks to Starlink, the Azov Battalion has overcome Russia’s powerful electromagnetic jamming systems and remains connected to NATO headquarters in Poland, Romania and elsewhere.
The Starlink equipment offered to Ukraine is part of US military assistance to that country. Given the secretive nature of the military satellite network, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to neutralise NATO and Ukrainian telecommunications. So far, the Russians have not been able to find the keys and codes of the Starlink protocol. Only the Chinese are capable of mapping the satellite network, which explains why the Pentagon considers China the most formidable rival to US hegemony, not Russia.
Russia is paying the price for not having freed itself earlier from the giant internet monopolies (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook) which, as it turns out, are nothing more than electronic warfare machines.