Ukraine asks Musk for Starlink terminals as Russian invasion disrupts broadband

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A Starlink satellite dish mounted on a roof.

Enlarge / The new version of Dishy McFlatface. (credit: Starlink)

SpaceX is sending Starlink user terminals to Ukraine after a request from a government official. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation, used Twitter to make a direct plea to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Saturday, writing:

@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! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.

About 10 hours later, Musk responded, “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.” A bit later, Fedorov sent a tweet thanking Musk and another tweet thanking Ukraine’s ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, “for swift decisions related to authorization and certification that allowed us to activate the Starlink in Ukraine.”

We asked SpaceX for details on how many Starlink user terminals are being sent to Ukraine and how they’re being distributed and will update this article if we get any information. Starlink was recently used to provide broadband in parts of Tonga that were cut off from Internet access by the tsunami.

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