How Did Russia Delink Starlink From It’s Ground Terminals

Leaked documents from the Pentagon have revealed that Russia’s TOBOL EW System “Cuts Off” Starlink from its ground terminals.

Russia’s Tobol electronic warfare (EW) system targeted the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal to break the “synchronization” of the Starlink satellite internet service with its ground terminals, according to a Ukrainian journalist.

Leaked documents from the Pentagon had recently named the mysterious system — that seemed to have been forgotten since 2020 after it was first identified — to have jammed SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet constellation.

Designated the 14Ts227, the leaked Pentagon intelligence papers say Russia had been experimenting with the platform for several months. 

This primarily supports previous analyses and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s claims about persistent Russian efforts to jam the satellites. Musk had also made statements supporting Russia’s position in the war, particularly on Crimea, advocating a peace plan with Moscow.

He also threatened to suspend Starlink services in Ukraine over mounting dues that his company could no longer sustain, suggesting the Pentagon should foot the bill. By February this year, he finally took measures that “limited” Ukraine’s ability to use Starlink for military purposes. 

Used By Ukraine, Blocked By Russia

Ukraine extensively used the spacecraft’s internet in its drones to conduct attacks inside Russia and Crimea. Starlink had also proven vital to Ukrainian military coordination, which relied on the small portable terminals to communicate across the battlefield and relay intelligence. 

But the latest leak from the Pentagon papers suggests Russian EW had been fairly successful in blocking/jamming Starlink’s signals to its receivers and terminals used by Ukraine. However, it was unclear precisely in what manner the ‘interference’ or ‘jamming’ happened or what tactics the Russians employed. 

Reuters has reported that Russia has launched a video campaign calling for “real men” to fight in Ukraine and is seeking to recruit up to 400,000 professional soldiers on a voluntary basis.

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