Russia reportedly has means to disrupt Starlink in Ukraine

Russia is testing a powerful electronic weapons system capable of interfering with and disrupting Starlink’s satellite internet service in Ukraine, The New York Times (NYT) quoted Ukrainian officials.

Starlink, operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is vital for the Ukrainian military’s efforts to communicate, gather intelligence, and conduct drone attacks. It has so far worked reliably despite widespread Russian electronic warfare.

However, in May, Ukraine’s 92nd Assault Brigade soldiers across the northern front line faced outages timed just before Russian troops started pushing across the border. Later, the experiences were repeated with other Russian attacks.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s digital minister, told NYT that Russia’s recent attacks against Starlink appeared to use “new and more advanced technology,” capable of degrading the service on which Ukraine relies.

The Russians are now “testing different mechanisms to disrupt the quality of Starlink connections because it’s so important for us,” Fedorov said.

An army commander described how the internet “just shut down” before the attack and “became super, super slow,” forcing the army to resort to text messaging.

Fedorov didn’t disclose what weapons Russia has been using. He noted that Ukraine was constantly communicating with SpaceX to resolve the problems.

Jamming poses a major threat to Ukraine and could mark a tactical shift favoring Russia in the electronic warfare fight.

A previous report by the NYT also highlighted that high-tech US weapons are becoming ineffective in Ukraine as their accuracy rates fall due to Russian electronic disruption tech.