Elon Musk needs to clarify Ukraine’s reported Starlink outages: Kinzinger

Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger called on Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to issue a statement Friday after reports that Ukrainian soldiers were experiencing connectivity issues with Starlink communications devices on the front lines.

financial times reported on Friday that a Ukrainian government official said recent outages of Starlink internet systems had caused a “catastrophic” loss of communications for troops on the frontlines of Ukraine’s war with Russia, prompting “panic calls” by some soldiers to hotline numbers have.

According to the report, Ukrainian officials said connectivity problems began as Ukrainian soldiers liberated areas once controlled by Russia and moved past the front lines.

The report prompted a response from Kinzinger on Twitterwho said Musk “should make a statement.”

“Or this should be investigated,” Kinzinger added. “This is a national security issue.”

Starlink terminals are a satellite internet system developed by Musk’s company SpaceX. According to the report of financial timesThousands of terminals have been shipped to Ukraine after being donated by SpaceX, purchased by the United States, or crowdfunded by donors.

In August, The Washington Post reported that the US government has purchased more than 1,330 Starlink systems to ship to Ukraine. According to the report, SpaceX had donated nearly 3,670 at the time.

Musk on the Offshore Northern Seas 2022
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk addresses the crowd at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 meeting in Stavanger, Norway, on August 29, 2022. Ukrainian officials reported that Internet terminals created by SpaceX on the Ukraine-Russia frontline experienced power outages.
Carina Johansen/NTB/AFP/Getty Images

Musk responded on Twitter to one of the authors of the financial times Article, Christopher Miller, calling the news “poor reporting.”

“This article falsely claims that Starlink terminals [and] paid for service when only a small percentage was paid,” Musk wrote. “This operation cost SpaceX $80 [million] [and] will exceed $100 [million] until the end of the year.”

“What’s happening on the battlefield,” Musk added. “That’s a secret.”

news week was unable to corroborate Musk’s claims that SpaceX spent nearly $80 million out of pocket on Starlink systems shipped to Ukraine, as no public accounts or open documents support that figure.

Ukrainian officials first asked Musk about Starlink stations in February, prompting a prompt response from the SpaceX CEO on Twitter within an hour of the request.

Musk continued the conversation below Miller’s tweet, replying to a user who asked the billionaire if he was in “regular contact with other parties involved in the war”.

“A lot,” Musk wrote. “Trying to do the right thing, which isn’t always clear.”

According to that financial times A coordinator from Serhiy Prytula — the charity that has donated Starlink terminals to the Ukrainian military — reportedly said the problems reported on the frontlines may have arisen because SpaceX was trying to prevent “abuse by Russian forces.” Many of the power outages, the news agency source said, occurred in areas that had recently been recaptured by Ukrainian soldiers but had not yet been reported.

On Thursday, a Ukrainian official said troops had advanced more than 55 miles against Russian forces over the past two weeks, Reuters reported. The liberated areas include large areas in southern and eastern Ukraine.

news week has contacted Kinzinger and SpaceX for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/elon-musk-needs-clarify-ukraines-reported-starlink-outages-kinzinger-1750071 Elon Musk needs to clarify Ukraine’s reported Starlink outages: Kinzinger

Rick Schindler

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