The U.S. military is largely privatized. In the case of the satellite communications operating in the Ukrainian war, they work thanks to Spacex and Starlink, two companies owned by billionaire Elon Musk.

Now the Financial Times reports (*) that the Ukrainian military complains that some of the space devices stopped working during the recent attack.

Starlink terminals help Ukrainian troops operate drones, receive vital intelligence updates and communicate with each other in areas where there are no other secure networks. Some of the failures have led to catastrophic communications drops in recent weeks, in the midst of battle.

The failures were most acute in the south, around the Kherson and Zaporiya regions, but also occurred along the front line in eastern Kharkov, Donetsk and Lugansk.

The connection failures were widespread and prompted panicked calls from soldiers to emergency lines. They occurred as Russian troops retreated on the frontline.

Three Ukrainian soldiers operating on the contact line confirmed that their Starlink systems had stopped working during the battles. Several terminals have been non-functional in recent days in the area near Kharkov.


Translated with (free version)

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