Some observers believe that Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been critical to the success of Ukraine during the Russian invitation. Its Starlink dishes have allowed people across the country, and the military, to communicate. The links to low-orbit satellites provide connectivity. The benefit only goes so far. SpaceX will not allow Ukraine to use Starlink for military purposes when they are meant to be on the offensive. (Click here for the companies profiting most from war.)
The lack of use for offense means that the system can probably not be used for drones. Drones are an essential part of the battle against tanks and ground forces. According to the BBC, at an event in the District of Columbia on Wednesday, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell explained that Starlink technology was “never meant to be weaponised.”
While many believe Elon Musk has no ethics, at least some people who work for him claim that they do.
The news hurts Ukraine at a challenging time. The Russians have begun one or more attacks across wide territories. The Ukrainian military remains underweaponed and undermanned. Some estimates are that it has suffered 100,0000 casualties in a year. The Russians have lost about the same, but they have nearly unlimited access to troops, even if they get them by any means.
The war has reached a stage when the balance of weapons has become as critical as at any time since the invasion began. Russia has sent tens of thousands of more troops to the front. Ukraine’s government continues to implore the United States and other NATO nations for weapons, which it needs within weeks. The supply chain logistics mean this will not happen rapidly.
Starlink is one of Ukraine’s few advantages, and even that has been weakened.
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