Ukraine gets Starlink internet terminals – and a friendly security warning

The Starlink logo is seen on a smartphone in front of the Ukrainian flag displayed in this illustration taken February 27, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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Feb 28 (Reuters) – Ukraine said on Monday it received Starlink satellite internet terminals from SpaceX, but an internet security researcher warned they could become Russian targets.

“Starlink – here. Thank you, @elonmusk,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted days after asking billionaire SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for help. Fedorov’s tweet included a photo of the back of a military-looking truck loaded with terminals.

Musk tweeted: “You are welcome”.

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The terminals look like home satellite dishes and can provide relatively fast Internet service, by residential standards, by connecting to a fleet of low-orbiting satellites.

But John Scott-Railton, principal investigator at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab project, took to Twitter to warn that the terminals could become Russian targets.

“Re: @elonmusk’s starlink donation. Good to see. But remember: if #Putin controls the air over #Ukraine, users’ uplink transmissions become beacons…for airstrikes,” he tweeted.

“#Russia has decades of experience in attacking people by targeting their satellite communications,” he added in a series of 15 tweets detailing the risks. (

Musk said Saturday that Starlink is available in Ukraine and that SpaceX is sending more terminals to the country, whose internet has been shut down due to the Russian invasion.

SpaceX did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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