America Delivering New Missiles to Ukraine: Starlink Satellites Deployed on Defence Ministry’s Request

As Russian military operations in Ukraine entered their third day, the United States took steps to escalate its support for the Ukrainian war effort. With the Ukrainian Air Force and its air defence sites built around the S-300 system having been effectively neutralised, and its tank forces relying on 1970s T-64B models almost totally incapable of challenging Russian units, the Ukrainian Military has been forced to increasingly rely on infantry deploying U.S.-supplied surface to air and anti tank munitions. While this cannot contest Russian air or armoured superiority, advanced handheld weapons including the Javelin for anti tank roles and the Stinger for anti aircraft roles do allow Ukrainian units to pose more of a threat. The U.S. has thus focused on the delivery of such systems to Ukraine, announcing $350 million worth of military aid including Javelins and possibly also Stingers, although there remains a significant possibility that these could be intercepted when entering Ukraine due to Russian control of the skies and the near unlimited reach of its missile strike capabilities. 

In a further effort to bolster Ukraine against Russia, the American Starlink satellite network was deployed on February 27 to provide internet connectivity in the country following a request from the Ukrainian Defence Ministry. American tech billionaire Elon Musk, who owns the Starlink program and whose businesses have had close ties with the Pentagon, announced more satellites were en route to increase Ukraine’s connectivity. Ukrainian officials also called on Musk to help stoke protest in Russia against Moscow’s actions. The Starlink program has long been highlighted by Russian officials as a security threat due to its very close ties to and tremendous subsidies from the U.S. government, which was seen as a medium to spread anti Russian and pro Western political narratives as well as potentially in future serving as a means for cruise missile guidance. Musk’s has also collaborated with the Pentagon on other programs including the development of a system to redeploy U.S. military assets through space. 

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