“Psycho”, 22 from the 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade disconnects their Starlink on the front line at Orthodox Christmas, during a ceasefire announced by Russia over the Orthodox Christmas period, from the frontline region of Kreminna, Ukraine, January 6, 2023.
A Ukrainian soldier disconnects their Starlink on the front lines near Kreminna, Ukraine, on January 6, 2023.REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo
  • Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted Thursday that SpaceX needs to a pick a side in the war.
  • SpaceX announced Ukraine wouldn't be allowed to use its internet services for military purposes like drones.
  • SpaceX said Wednesday it doesn't want Starlink to be "weaponized" in the war.

Ukraine has a message for Elon Musk's SpaceX: We're at war. Pick a side.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted Thursday that SpaceX must choose to support either Kyiv or Russia after the company said that Ukraine can't use its Starlink internet service for military purposes. 

Podolyak said SpaceX can either be "on the side" of Ukraine and "the right to freedom" or the company can pick Russia and "its 'right' to kill and seize territories." 

Ukraine and Russia have been at war for nearly a full year after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked invasion of the eastern European country.

According to BBC News, Kyiv used Starlink to control military drones. Unmanned aircraft have proved vital to both Ukraine and Russia's combat operations and surveillance against the other side.

SpaceX's COO Gwynne Shotwell said Wednesday the company never intended Starlink to be "weaponized" in the war. 

"We were really pleased to be able to provide Ukraine connectivity and help them in their fight for freedom," Shotwell said. "It was never intended to be weaponized, but the Ukrainians have leveraged it in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement."

According to BBC News, SpaceX took steps to limit Ukraine's ability to use the internet service for offensive measures like drones. 

SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted in late January that while Starlink "has become the connectivity backbone of Ukraine all the way up to the front lines," the company will not allow it "to be used for long-range drone strikes."


Read the original article on Business Insider