OAN Deven Berryhill
UPDATED 4:54 PM PT – Thursday, February 9, 2023
SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell has announced that the company has begun limiting the usage of Starlink internet technology to Ukrainian forces. According to sources, Ukrainian forces have been using the broadband service to mount drone attacks on the Russian military.
Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak reacted strongly on Twitter by calling out Shotwell and SpaceX for this abrupt decision.
Up to this point, Starlink had been providing free and unlimited internet service to the Ukrainian forces. The service was utilized to help spot enemy positions, drop bombs and fly drone strikes amidst fighting off the Russian invasion.
The SpaceX president spoke during a press conference in Washington D.C.
“Ukrainians have leveraged it in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement,” Shotwell said.
She had said that this abrupt decision was made because Starlink was “never, never meant to be weaponized.”
Additionally, Shotwell told reporters that Starlink only provided the broadband terminals to Ukraine in order to “keep the banks going, hospitals, [and] keep families connected.”
“We know the military is using them for comms, and that’s OK,” Shotwell said. “But our intent was never to have them use it for offensive purposes.”
The funding for the Starlink terminals shipped to Ukraine had been provided by the United States, France and SpaceX. It was not clear whether this decision to limit the internet service in Ukraine was made directly by the company’s CEO Elon Musk.