A call for help from a Ukraine official on Saturday ended with Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk sending SpaceX’s Starlink broadband internet service to the recently invaded country. While Ukrainians deal with Russian invasion on their streets, the combat has also knocked out 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 vice 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.
Internet service is especially unstable in southern and eastern Ukraine, Reuters reports. These areas have seen the worst of the invasion so far.
Starlink is a constellation of satellites low-orbiting the Earth. The Starlink website explains the service is “ideal for rural and remote communities” where internet is unreliable. Back in January, Reuters reports Musk said there were 1,469 active Starlink satellites and 272 moving into orbit soon.
Since early Thursday morning, Ukraine has been under an historic unprovoked attack from the Russian military at the command of Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin. According to Associated Press, Saturday saw Ukraine defense forces trying to stop Russia from gaining a stronger foothold in the capitol, Kyiv. As of Saturday evening, massive explosions were reported near the capitol and over 120,000 residents fled the country.
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