The Gilat SkyEdge satellite Internet communications systems, which are manufactured for the Israeli corporation Gilat Satellite Networks by the Uzhhorod plant of the American outsourcing company Jabil Circuit, are being imported to Russia in large quantities and may help the Russian military to perform its tasks and thus occupy the territory of Ukraine.

Slidstvo.Info has customs data for 2023, according to which about 22,000 systems about $5 million in value assembled in Ukraine were imported into Russia. This is 6 times more than in 2022, when equipment of Ukrainian origin by the Gilat brand worth $840,000 entered Russia. During Russia’s full-scale invasion, the media regularly reports on the transfer of such Gilat systems to the frontline.

This was reported in an investigation by Slidstvo.Info. The video has English subtitles.


On 12 July 2023, Russian State Duma deputy Viktor Vodolatsky arrived in the occupied by the Russian army Luhansk oblast to deliver “aid” to a “Cossack unit” fighting on the side of Russia against Ukraine. The “gifts” included a Niva car, an ATV, and bulletproof vests. In the photo, Vodolatsky poses with a box labelled “Gilat”. This is a satellite communications kit – a satellite dish and a SkyEdge transmitter, which has been supplied to Russia for many years by the Israeli corporation Gilat Satellite Networks.

State Duma deputy Viktor Vodolatsky (right)

In 2022, representatives of the so-called Public People’s Front civic movement handed over the same systems to the Luhansk People’s Republic’s Militsia. 

“Thanks to the launch of the ‘Everything for Victory’ portal by the People’s Front, it has become possible to purchase such communications equipment for you, because we know that 80% of success in combat depends on ensuring uninterrupted communication for the guys fighting on the frontline, so today we are giving you five such satellite systems. Please use them and win,” says Anna Yeryomenko, the so-called head of the People’s Front executive committee in the LPR, in the video.

Gilat satellite communications systems are sold en masse by dealers across Russia, and the adverts often state that they are “suitable for the needs of the ‘SMO’. This is one of the reasons why Gilat “dishes” can be seen in the reports of other “assistants” of the Russian invaders’ army.


Unlike Starlink systems, which operate anywhere in the world due to a large number of satellites, the Russian Yamal and Express satellite clusters operate on the principle of satellite television. This is when the satellite “hangs” in one point, and the antenna needs to be directed at it in a certain area at a certain angle, Serhiy “Flash” Beskrestnov, a military communications expert and consultant in the field of radio and military technologies and a technical blogger, tells Slidstvo.Info

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Gilat’s satellite systems are just right for working with Russian satellites. “If they have their own satellites, there is no point in paying for the use of someone else’s. Unlike Starlink, traffic on Russian networks is difficult to track from the outside. So for the Russians, using their systems is simply safer from this point of view, because this traffic goes through Russian servers,” says Beskrestnov.  

Since the early 2000s, Gilat Satellite Networks has been helping Russians build satellite communications networks for both private and public sector needs. Gilat is also a partner of the largest satellite communications operators, including Rostelecom subsidiary RTKOMM and Gazprom subsidiary Gazprom Space Systems. One of the company’s activities is the development of military communications technologies. However, Vodolatsky, like other ‘volunteers’, sent civilian equipment to the frontline. Rostelecom purchased Gilat systems in March 2024. They are also being supplied to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. 


It is very difficult to sanction companies that provide services or technologies for satellite communications, says Roman Steblivskyi, Head of Sanctions Department at Trap Aggressor

“The US government allows companies from this sector to operate in Russia because it is about civilian access to satellite communications under the pretext of protecting freedom of speech and freedom of information. In order to impose sanctions on a business like Gilat, we need very clear evidence of not just the use of their products by the military, but their use in the war against Ukraine, on the battlefield,” the expert told Slidstvo.Info.

Roman Steblivskyi gives an example of another study conducted by the Trap Aggressor team on the American satellite communications company Iridium. 

“This company has a subsidiary in Russia that cooperates with military engineers who served in the FSB. It supplies services to the Rosgvardia, Russian prisons, and units of certain special services. Despite this, we did not have enough evidence to prove that sanctions should be imposed against them,” Steblivskyi added. 


Recently, the number of such “dishes” along the front line has only increased, explains “Flash” in a comment to Slidstvo.Info.

“Both Yamal and Express networks serve the needs of the military. If we look at the pictures of the frontline now, we see a lot of “dishes”, especially in Kharkiv oblast, pointing in one direction — where the satellites of these two networks are hanging. They cover only the eastern part of the frontline, the Kharkiv direction, Kupyansk, Lyman and down to Bakhmut — there are a lot of them in this part. They are appearing more and more, I am teaching the guys how to recognise them, we are destroying them, these are priority targets for us,” says Beskrestnov. 

After the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Gilat did not close its business in Russia and continued to import equipment through its subsidiary Gilat Satellite Networks (Eurasia) LLC. In 2023, it was this company that imported about 22,000 SkyEdge II-C Gemini-I and Capricorn Pro satellite communications kits worth about $5 million. 

According to customs declarations, the systems were shipped from Israel and Turkey. However, in these cases, the country of origin of the goods was Ukraine. Gilat Satellite Networks (Eurasia) also imported similar satellite routers made in the Philippines (16,000 sets worth $1.3 million).

The systematic supply was accidentally confirmed to Slidstvo.Info journalists by the dealer company Altegrosky. Their main office is in Moscow, and they call themselves the largest commercial satellite provider. 

During a call to technical support, manager Yana said that “the guys (Russian military — ed.) are being helped by the partners.”

“Our partners are currently purchasing systems and bringing them to the zone (the so-called “Special Military Operation” zone — ed.) as humanitarian aid,” she said, adding that she had never heard of any cases of systems manufactured in Ukraine being brought to the “SMO”.    

Instead, the technical support team of the Gilat‘s supplier, SIGAL, registered in Krasnodar, confirmed to the journalists that systems made in Ukraine are the norm and are also being sent to war. 

The journalist of Slidstvo.Info spoke to the technical support of SIGAL under a legend. Allegedly, “Russian soldiers from the so-called “SMO” received a Gilat made in Ukraine and asked to check whether it was normal, because they were afraid to open and use such a “gift” from volunteers. 

We publish the conversation below with minor reductions: 

– You said that there have already been such cases. Were these systems delivered to the military? I just can’t understand whether this is a normal situation or not. 

– It’s normal, there have been such cases. They work for Amur-1 (satellite — ed.). 

– So it was the military that received them? 

– Yes, yes, they did. 

It is interesting that not only did the full-scale invasion not stop the supply of satellite systems made in Ukraine to Russia, but it seems to have only contributed to the number of orders. Thus, in 2021, such systems were purchased for $982,000, in 2022 — for $840,000, and in 2023 the total amount jumped to $5 million per year.


Gilat does not have its own subsidiary in Ukraine, but products under its brand are manufactured by the Jabil Satellite UK Limited plant in Uzhhorod. This is a subsidiary of the American Jabil Circuit, which, in addition to Gilat, also produces appliances and electronics under the Nespresso, Nokia, Cardo, Velux, Unify, Ceragon, Tele Tec, Visteon brands, as well as under its own trademarks. 

According to customs data, a significant portion of Jabil’s subsidiary’s goods are exported to Hungary. Unlike Gilat, Jabil has withdrawn from Russia and closed its production facilities there. However, according to Russian customs data, Gilat’s “Ukrainian” systems are manufactured by Jabil

Jabil Inc.’s response to a request from Slidstvo.Info stated that the company’s Uzhhorod facility in Ukraine does not supply goods to Russia. 

“In line with our commitment to global ethical and human rights standards, Jabil has taken a clear position in support of Ukraine in the face of the ongoing armed invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. […] We assure all stakeholders that we have taken steps to ensure that no products manufactured by Jabil in Ukraine are shipped to the Russian Federation. We are actively working with our customers and supply chains to ensure strict compliance with our policy of not supplying to Russia,” Jabil said in a statement. 

However, similar supplies of equipment of Ukrainian origin are still taking place. According to the customs brokers interviewed by Slidstvo.Info, information about the origin is entered into the customs databases on the basis of documents provided by the seller or sender. In other words, it was a Russian broker who cleared the goods in Russia and indicated Ukraine as the country of origin, because this information was documented by the sender. Such a document may be a certificate of origin or an exporter’s declaration. It makes no sense for brokers to enter false information into the database, as they are liable for it. 

“Based on the information we see, we can say for sure that we are talking about goods of Ukrainian origin imported into Russia by an Israeli company. This data was entered on the basis of documents provided by the buyer. The question remains as to why these goods were allowed into Russia in the first place — their Ukrainian origin should have been a “red flag”, as it mirrors the situation in Ukraine,” Oleksandr Nazareskul, director of the brokerage company Clover Brok, told Slidstvo.Info

According to him, the route could have been laid in two ways:  “The cargo could have been taken out of Ukraine, physically arrived in Israel and cleared through customs there, or put into a customs warehouse in transit. And then it could be sold from Israel to another destination, such as Russia. This is a rather long route for this cargo. Therefore, another option is that the cargo could go to Europe and be stored in a customs warehouse in transit. And then from this customs warehouse, it would have been more logical and less costly to ship to Russia. At the same time, an Israeli company could buy the goods in Ukraine and indicate a company in the EU as the recipient. And then, after arriving at the warehouse of this company, it could give an order to send the cargo to Russia. This is quite possible.” 


Despite the fact that satellite communications systems can be used for both peaceful and military purposes, fixed and mobile satellite systems are not included in the list of dual-use goods, and the sanctions lists against Russia do not prohibit the import of such systems into that country. Despite continuing to operate in Russia, Gilat Satellite Networks is not on the list of war sponsors.

By supplying its products to the Russians at the frontline, the company not only continues to do well in the market, but also receives contracts from the Pentagon. 

In February this year, Gilat received another contract for portable satellite communications hubs worth $10 million. 

The contract will be fulfilled by Gilat‘s subsidiary in the US, DataPath. Prior to that, the US Army re-signed a contract with the Israelis (another Wavestream subsidiary) for about $20 million to continue its satellite communications support programmes. In 2022, US critical communications system integrator Comlabs selected Gilat to upgrade its existing satellite network of several hundred government and nuclear facilities across the country.

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