Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of National Defense, said that since the Starlink satellite network was activated over Crimea, there have been “no problems”.
Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of National Defense, said that since the Starlink satellite network was activated over Crimea, there have been "no problems" with communication.
This was announced by the lieutenant general in an interview for The War Zone.
Budanov confirmed that earlier American billionaire Elon Musk had disabled Starlink over the temporarily occupied peninsula. However, as the head of the GUR noted, "there is also another side to this truth, because 'everyone knew about it'.
“The specific case (with the attack on the Chernomosk fleet of the Russian Federation in Crimea – editor's note) that they are talking about was the disconnection of the transmission from Crimea, but this did not happen at that specific moment. This disconnection lasted for a month. Perhaps there were some special cases that I don't know about. But I'm sure there was no cover during the entire first period of the war," explained the lieutenant general.
To a clarifying question about whether it was the case that Musk ever established the link and then turned it off, Budanov replied: “There have been no problems since Starlink was turned on over Crimea".
“Look, a private individual privately owns Starlink. Yes, we use its products and services to a very wide extent. The entire contact line communicates to some extent through its products and services. The only thing I can say here is that without these services and products, it would be a disaster”, the intelligence chief added.
Earlier, CNN, citing an excerpt from a new biographical book about Musk, reported that in 2022 he ordered the Starlink network off Crimea to be disabled to prevent Ukrainian forces from carrying out a secret attack on the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Later, the billionaire stated that he did not issue such orders and indicated that SpaceX received an "urgent request from state authorities" to activate the network on the section to Sevastopol, however, he refused so as not to become a participant in the war and it did not lead to escalation.