Elon Musk (Wall Street Journal)

UPDATES: Alexei Navalny Is Dead, Possibly Assassinated, In A Russian Prison

Thursday’s Coverage: Kyiv Sinks Another Russian Warship, Blows Up Another Oil Depot

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, on a visit to Berlin, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have signed an agreement on security cooperation and long-term support.

The statement affirms, “Germany is unwavering in its support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within borders, which have been internationally recognised since 1991, including the territorial sea and free economic (maritime) zone.”

The agreement is for 10 years in the first instance. In 2024, Germany will provide more than €7 billion in military assistance to Ukraine. The two parties will cooperate on sanctions against Moscow as long as Vladimir Putin’s invasion continues and until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored.

Germany pledges to work for the establishment of a tribunal to try those committing crimes of aggression during the invasion.

Scholz announced another military aid package of €1.1 billion, with 36 armored vehicles, 120,000 rounds of ammunition, two Skynex air defense systems, and missiles for Iris-T air defense systems.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Russian forces are using thousands of Starlink satellite communications terminals, made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, on the frontline, according to Ukraine military intelligence head Kyrill Budanov.

Budanov made the statement in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Thursday.

Last weekend Ukrainian military intelligence said the Russians were using Starlink on the frontine in the Donetsk region in the east of the country. They supported the claim with audio from troops of Russia’s 83rd Air Assault Brigade setting up a satellite terminal.

Musk inisted, “To the best of our knowledge, no Starlinks have been sold directly or indirectly to Russia.” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov added, “This is not a certified system with us; accordingly, it cannot be officially supplied here and is not officially supplied.”

However, Ukraine military intelligence spokesman Andriy Yusov emphasized that Russian forces are obtaining the Starlink terminals illicitly from third countries.

Musk: “No Way in Hell” Putin Will Lose

Starlink activated their service in Ukraine within days of the Russian invasion of February 2022. About 42,000 terminals are now in use, including by hospitals, businesses, and aid organizations.

The Ukrainian military deployed the terminals during their successful defense of Kyiv in March-April, and in the resistance of the 12-week Russian siege and assault on the port city of Mariupol in the spring.

But Musk threatened to cut the supply of terminals in autumn 2022, demanding that the US Defense Department take over the financing. He backed down amid criticism of his statement supporting the Kremlin’s lines on a “peace plan”.

Budanov told the Wall Street Journal that private Russian companies acquire Starlink terminals through intermediaries who falsely declared the purchases for personal use. The equipment is then delivered to Russia via neighboring countries, including former Soviet republics.

The intelligence chief said the Starlink service has been operational on Russian-occupied territory for “quite a long time,”.

Meanwhile, Musk has continued to amplify the Kremlin’s propaganda lines. He is now backing the cutoff of US aid to Kyiv, telling US Senators on Monday that there is “no way in hell” Vladimir Putin will lose in his invasion of Ukraine.

Starlink on Sale in Moscow for $2,600

The investigative site IStories details how the Starlink terminals can be purchased in Russia for 240,000 to 299,000 roubles ($2,600 to $3,300) per unit.

Representatives of three Russian sellers said the terminals work only near Ukraine’s borders, connecting to the satellite network through Poland.

The terminals are set up and ready to use. They can be picked up in residential buildings in two locations in Moscow. Nearby are sites on the list of secret facilities of “special consumers of electricity”, such as Russian military intelligence serivces and the Defense Ministry’s Military Academy.