Ukraine asked Elon Musk to help it access the internet. It sends Starlink terminals.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands at a press event on the grounds of the Tesla Gigafactory.

Patrick Pleul/photo alliance via Getty Images.

  • A Ukrainian government official tweeted SpaceX founder Elon Musk on Saturday asking for Starlink terminals.
  • Musk personally responded a few hours later, saying Starlink Internet was now active in Ukraine and terminals were on their way.
  • The Russian invasion disrupted internet service for some Ukrainians.
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SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted late Saturday that the company’s Starlink satellite internet service “is now active in Ukraine” with “more terminals on the way.”

Musk’s announcement came in direct response to a call from a Ukrainian government official for more Starlink stations amid a Russian invasion that has disrupted Ukraine’s internet services.

“While you are trying to colonize Mars – Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets are successfully landing from space – Russian rockets are attacking Ukrainian civilians!” Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, tweeted Musk earlier on Saturday. “We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and invite sane Russians to stand up.”

Musk responded just 10 hours later, saying he granted the request. It was not immediately clear how widely available Starlink service would be in Ukraine.

In response to Musk’s announcement, Ukraine’s official Twitter account tweeted, “Thank you, I appreciate it.”

Internet connectivity across Ukraine was affected by the invasion, though the extent was not immediately clear on Saturday. Connectivity to the country’s main internet provider even briefly dipped 20% on Friday, internet monitors told Reuters, adding that it was unclear how much of that was due to Ukrainians fleeing their homes.

“We are currently seeing nationwide connectivity at 87% of ordinary levels, a figure that reflects service disruptions as well as the outflow of people and the closure of homes and businesses since the morning of the 24th,” said Alp Toker, director of NetBlocks, to the media. .

SpaceX’s Starlink is a growing network of private low-orbit satellites aimed at delivering high-speed internet service around the world. More than 1,500 Starlink satellites are currently operational.

Saturday was not the first time SpaceX had offered to send Starlink terminals to countries in need. Last month, Musk also offered to send the terminals to Tonga, where a volcanic eruption has disrupted internet access nationwide.

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