Elon Musk’s SpaceX admit blocking Ukrainian troops from using satellite system

SpaceX's president has revealed that the company have acted to try and prevent Ukrainian forces from using their Starlink satellite technology in drones to aid their war efforts against Russia.

Gwynne Shotwell has told media outlets that Elon Musk's SpaceX firm has "done things" to limit Ukraine's use of Starlink, as the technology was never intended to be used for military purposes.

"It was never intended to be weaponized,” Shotwell said at a space conference. "However, Ukrainians have leveraged it in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement."

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She added that Starlink had sent units to Ukraine to help "keep the banks going, hospitals, keep families connected".

Shotwell also pointed out: "We know the military is using them for comms, and that’s OK."

Ukrainian troops had previously enthused about Starlink's game-changing status as a means of targeting Russian forces with artillery and drones.

CNN, meanwhile, obtained exclusive documents that proved SpaceX was attempting to persuade the Pentagon to foot the bill for thousands of terminals to be sent over for Ukraine’s military and intelligence services.

In response, one senior US defence official told CNN that SpaceX had the "the gall to look like heroes" when they were getting other third parties to shell out for their donations to Ukraine.

Musk quickly took to Twitter in reaction to CNN's report and posted: "The hell with it… we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free."

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Discussions still reportedly continued with the Pentagon about funding the provision of military units but Shotwell has now confirmed that is unlikely.

She said: "I was the one that asked the Pentagon to fund, this was not an Elon thing. We stopped interacting with the Pentagon on the existing capability. They are not paying."

Shotwell then reiterated that SpaceX had not expected Starlink to be used in the manner that it has been by Ukraine.

"Honestly," she declared. "I don’t even think we thought about it.

"You know, it could be used that way? I didn’t think about it.

"Our Starlink team may have, I don’t know. But we’ve learned pretty quickly."


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