Starlink satellites sent into space by Elon Musk’s SpaceX are helping Ukrainian military drones destroy Russian tanks and army trucks, according to a report.
A Ukrainian air reconnaissance specialist says his military has been operating drones specially fitted with thermal cameras that can detect Russian vehicles at night, according to the Times of London.
The drones are equipped with anti-tank grenades that are launched at their target.
“If we use a drone with thermal vision at night, the drone must connect through Starlink to the artillery guy and create target acquisition,” the Ukrainian specialist told the Times of London.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in widespread power outages — thus requiring anyone who wants to connect to the internet to use Starlink.
Last month, Musk sent Starlink terminals into Ukraine at the request of Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who has said the broadband internet service “keeps our cities connected and emergency services saving lives” in the event of outages.
SpaceX sent a shipment of Starlink terminals to provide Ukraine with internet access.
SpaceX delivered Starlink terminals to Ukraine after a request from top government officials.Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
But as Russia stepped up its bombardment of major cities, Musk and others have cautioned that the satellite signals could turn Ukrainians into targets.
“Important warning: Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so probability of being targeted is high,” Musk tweeted earlier this month.
“Please use with caution.”
Musk has also been engaged in Twitter feuds with Russian officials and allies of the Kremlin.
Ukrainian officials credit the terminals with enabling continued internet access as the Russian military invasion has caused widespread outages.SpaceX
Last week, he changed his Twitter name to “Elona” after a Chechen warlord called him “effeminate.”
Days earlier, Musk challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to a one-on-one fight as Russia escalated its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, tweeting “stakes are Ukraine.”
Ukrainian officials defiantly rejected a Russian demand that their forces in Mariupol lay down their arms and raise white flags Monday in exchange for safe passage out of the besieged port city.
As Russia intensified its effort to pound Mariupol into submission, its ground offensive in other parts of Ukraine has become bogged down. Western officials and analysts say the conflict is turning into a grinding war of attrition, with Russia bombarding cities.