Elon Musk steps in with SpaceX’s Starlink broadband to restore Ukraine’s internet connection.
A call for help from a Ukrainian official on Saturday ended with Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk sending SpaceX’s Starlink broadband internet service to the Russian-invaded country. While Ukrainians deal with the Russian invasion on their streets, the war has also destroyed much of the country’s connectivity.
“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route,” Musk tweeted Saturday. The move came in response to an earlier tweet from Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov.
“@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!” tweeted Fedorov.
According to Reuters, internet service is particularly unstable in southern and eastern Ukraine. These areas have seen the worst of the invasion till now.
Starlink is a constellation of satellites orbiting low Earth. The Starlink website explains the service is ideal for rural and remote communities, where the internet is unreliable. In January Musk said there were 1,469 active Starlink satellites and 272 satellites about to move into orbit.
Since early Thursday morning, Ukraine has suffered a historic unprovoked attack from the Russian army under the command of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Saturday, Ukraine’s self-defense forces were trying to prevent Russia from gaining a stronger foothold in the capital, Kyiv. As of Saturday evening, massive explosions were reported near the capital and more than 120,000 residents had fled the country.