United States remains in regular contact with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskythrough a phone that the US provided to the Ukrainian government last month before the invasion, according to a US official familiar with the matter.
In the past, most secure communications between Ukrainians and US officials went through the US Embassy in Kiev, two US officials said. As the United States prepared to evacuate its embassy and concern grew over an ongoing Russian invasion, The United States sent phones currently in use to Ukrainian partners.
Thanks to this devicedelivered at a time when the US embassy in Kiev was closed, the President of Ukraine You can keep in contact with your allies. thus reducing the risk of Russian espionage. It also facilitates communication between the two governments, since Zelensky would constantly change his location without leaving the Ukrainian capital as a security measure.
It is said that the Ukrainian government currently has two such terminals. One is in the hands of the Presidentwhile the second would belong to the Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba according to CNN, a media outlet that has been made aware of the story by US officials.
How is the device used by Volodymyr Zelensky
Currently, the model of the satellite phone that Zelensky owns has not been revealed; however, everything indicates that it should be a Iridium 9575A. To be precise, the device model listed above is currently in use by the US government. to keep calls completely confidential.
The manufacturer of the device states that “Iridium 9575A satellite phone offers proven reliability and industrial-grade design for use worldwide by US Government customers. The phone features a diamond tread tapered grip design for superior ergonomics in the hand that favors use in the most challenging environments.”
Specifically, the Iridium 9575A allows users to make calls, send SMS and email. In the contact list it allows up to 100 different users with the capacity to multiple phone numbers, email addresses, and notes. Also has gpsonline tracking and mapping services Google.
The manufacturer claims that the phone is specially designed to be powerful. What’s more, has enough battery to last 5 hours of talk time and 24 hours of inactivity.
Why Ukraine is still connected to the internet amid the Russian invasion
During the first days of the invasion of Russia to Ukraine some connectivity issues were seen in different regions. Many thought that in a matter of hours or days, the country would be totally disconnected. However, the days continued to pass and although internet outages have been experienced, in general terms the IT infrastructure is operational.
As explained by Alp Toker from the monitoring organization NetBlocks to Guardian, Ukraine has an infrastructure of Internet with “few bottlenecks”, which means that it is difficult to disconnect the country. In this sense, he added that there is no centralized shutdown switch that allows to simply turn off the connections.
On the other hand, it should be noted that reinforcement measures have been taken. A week ago, in an attempt to boost connectivity, the regulator telecommunications of Ukraine temporarily released spare radio frequencies to mobile phone networks to enable them to alleviate congestion on their services.
Also, over the past few days Elon Musk was commanding several Starlink satellites intended to maintain internet access in Ukraine. Recently, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, said on his social networks that the number of satellite dishes in the country will continue to grow throughout the week.