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Significant Starlink outage occurs during Sevastopol attack – military expert Zgurets

14 September, 2023 Thursday

While the attack was underway on Russian ships in Sevastopol, Starlink experienced widespread disruptions, particularly starting at 02:30 that night. The company confirmed the issues with Starlink services during this time


Starlink confirms the disruptions

On September 13th, at around 3 AM, an attack occurred on Russian Black Sea Fleet ships in the temporarily occupied Sevastopol. During this attack, Starlink experienced malfunctions. The company has acknowledged the issues with Starlink services. It's important to note that these disruptions are likely unrelated to the Armed Forces' ongoing preparations, even though we recently received 500 terminals from the Pentagon. These terminals are not reliant on Elon Musk's preferences and will serve frontline tasks, possibly including special operations involving naval drones.

The attack was complex in nature, involving missile strikes on targets located in the dry dock of the ship repair plant in Sevastopol Bay. The outcome holds both historical and strategic significance, as it resulted in the disabling, or more accurately, the destruction of two ships: the "Rostov-on-Don" submarine and the "Minsk" large amphibious assault ship.

This marks the third large amphibious ship that Ukraine has destroyed. Previously, at the start of the war, one landing ship was destroyed in Berdyansk by a Tochka missile. Additionally, the "Olenegorsky Gornyak" BDK was attacked by naval drones a month ago and is currently undergoing repairs in Novorossiysk. These BDKs are utilized by the enemy to transfer forces from Crimea to the Sea of Azov coast, and the Russian Federation currently maintains about eight BDKs in the Black Sea.

The attack on the submarine during its repair is unprecedented in history, as there has never been a recorded instance of a submarine under repair being destroyed by a missile. It's worth noting that this submarine is one of the six ships of the Kilo class, known for carrying Kalibr cruise missiles used for strikes on Ukraine and potentially equipped with nuclear warheads for attacks on NATO countries. These missiles can be launched from underwater positions.

While Ukraine lacks full-time capabilities to combat Russian submarines at sea, it seized an opportunity to destroy this submarine during its repairs.

The strike details

According to Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Mykola Olishchuk, we owe our thanks to Ukrainian pilots for this operation. He stated that the enemy was under a heavy assault, implying that there's a strong likelihood that Storm Shadow missiles were used in the Sevastopol strikes. The adversary has claimed to have downed 7 out of 10 cruise missiles, but this can be easily explained. In reality, Storm Shadow launches are conducted alongside ADM-160-type decoy missiles, provided by the Americans. These decoy missiles are used in conjunction with Storm Shadow cruise missiles. In any case, this operation is a remarkable example of effective coordination between the Air Force, Navy, and intelligence.

Frontline situation

As per Ihor Lapin, a special agent, Armed Forces officer, and former People's Deputy of the 8th convocation, our counteroffensive operation in the Southern front, while achieving some success, carries the risk of flanking attacks by Russian troops attempting to cut off our advancing units. By countering these flank attacks, we secure the opportunity to continue our southern advance, safeguarded against potential encirclement by Russian forces.

Today's actions in the Kupyansk area have effectively thwarted Russian advancements, demonstrating our ability to repel their forces. However, the situation in Bakhmut underscores the importance of controlling high ground, as it allows us to make substantial territorial gains beyond mere trench warfare. The control of elevated terrain is pivotal, not only for territorial dominance but also for the strategic advantage it offers to our artillery.

The achievements of the Armed Forces near Opytne are also noteworthy. It's worth noting that our successful operations have compelled the Russians to redeploy some of their units from the Donetsk front to the south. This suggests that the Russians are already tapping into their reserves, whereas Ukraine's primary reserves have not yet been fully utilized, even in the ongoing counteroffensive operation.

Regarding the situation with defense enterprises

The Federation of Employers in Ukraine has written a letter to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, asking him to address the issues arising from the decisions made by the State Audit Service of Ukraine.

According to Vitaliy Nemilostivy, the Head of the All-Ukrainian Association of Machine Builders Employers, some state auditors believe that these enterprises should operate without making a profit, citing a government resolution passed in March 2022.

The audit service intends to initiate criminal cases against government officials in the Ministry of Defense and against the leaders of these enterprises. It's worth noting the irony that one government ministry is suing another state entity, the Ministry of Defense. The Prime Minister needs to convene a meeting to address this matter, especially since the President has given a mandate to do so. The Federation initially raised this concern during a personal meeting with the President, who subsequently tasked the Prime Minister and the First Vice-Prime Minister with finding a solution. However, the government passed a different draft resolution during their meeting. Therefore, it falls upon the Prime Minister to resolve this issue.

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