At first he made Starlink available, then threatened to withdraw the free service, and after a while, he backed out: millionaire Elon Musk knows the influence he has in Ukraine and “made a genius move.” And it’s a very delicate move when it comes to warfare – especially this one where Musk’s Starlink is really (but really) making a difference on the battlefield.
The European Union is considering whether to contribute funding to ensure that Ukrainians retain access to the vital Starlink service, currently offered by Elon Musk. Although the proposal is still at an early stage, the discussion comes at a time when the tech mogul has warned that his space agency – SpaceX – cannot continue to push indefinitely until Ukrainians have access to Starlink’s internet service – and according to even That site Politico, Elon Musk suggested the US government pay the bill.
The person who is also the richest man in the world ended up changing his mind and ensuring that he continued to fund the service. But the panic has raised concerns about the security of Ukraine’s continued access to a critical communications system that has played a vital role in its counterattacks. After all, it was this free Internet that spread in Ukraine throughout the territory that allowed the population to continue to report and show pictures to the world and the military about what is happening on the ground. And this, by the way, was how the Ukrainians managed to “fight most of the Russian armored columns” in The first six months of the war.
To Politico, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, He suggested that internet access in Ukraine should not be left in the hands of a single “superpowered” person who could “wake up one day and say ‘this is not what I want to do anymore and that’s it’ and the next day Ukrainians can be without internet”.
No Starlink, Surrender
But what if Elon Musk decided to change his mind? However, in essence, “pushing the Internet out of Ukraine will send it to the level of Russia and automatically cancel it,” says the cybersecurity and communications expert. Nuno Matthews Coelho. This is due, he says, because Ukraine is highly dependent on this resource and has no alternatives. “Currently, the great advantage that the Ukrainians have over the Russians is that they are a cyber army,” asserts Nuno Mateus-Coelho, a position also shared by Major General Agostinho Costa, who adds that “Starlink has such an operational use as allowing Ukraine to digitize war.”
Let’s imagine a war scenario in which Ukrainian forces are in the middle of the field and want to activate a drone to attack an armed vehicle and be able to communicate using computers – that is, broadcast live images. “Without Starlink, this is not possible,” explains Nuno Mateus-Coelho, explaining that most of the Ukrainian territory has lost 4G infrastructure. “When the Ukrainian forces go to the Donbass, without a mobile network, they are not able to transmit this equipment from a distance. At the same time, they are also not able to conduct communications or maintain secrecy in communications.”
Starlink comes to enable a secure network across the territory. On top of this resource, the entire architecture of the Ukrainian war is in place – “even the way the Ukrainian government communicates,” explains Nuno Mateus Coelho, who leaves a reflection: “How a simple antenna manages to control light, water and armies.. Taking Starlink from Ukraine is capitulation There is no alternative.”
Here comes the role of the West. Should the European Union bear the costs of Starlink? In fact, it is an American company owned by an American citizen. “The Starlink communications system allows, above all, Ukraine’s informational supremacy, which is a game-changer that it cannot do without – and the West will not allow it to stop coming,” says Maj. Gen. Agostino Costa.
The Major General states that the United States supports Ukraine with not only the Starlink satellite network but also the JSTARS system – which allows for battlefield monitoring and correct visualization of the theater of operations. “This ranges from operational command to tactical command. They know how, when and where to attack.” So much so that during the counterattack in Kharkiv, a group of lasers was seen aimed at the sky.
“When Lyman was invaded, there were indications of a certain unease in the Ukrainian army, which reported failures in the Starlink system,” says the general, noting that “in the midst of this, Elon Musk appears as a kind of prince of peace and suggests that elections be held in the Donbass.” “.
At first he made Starlink available, then threatened to withdraw the free service, and then immediately backed out. “Elon Musk makes a genius move, Twitter style,” says Nuno Mateus Coelho, “but what he really wants is to be paid.” And we’re talking about several million dollars.
Major General Agostino Costa stressed that “we have to understand beyond the message”: SpaceX has invested about $80 million to ensure broadband connections for the Ukrainian armed forces — costs that, according to Elon Musk, could reach 400 million by the end of next year. “This is pressure on the United States government. Elon Musk’s problem is that with the regime being targeted by Russian attacks, who is paying the price for the damage?”
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