SAN FRANCISCO, February 26 – SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk said on Saturday that the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service is available in Ukraine, and SpaceX is sending more terminals to the Ukraine, whose internet has been disrupted due to the Russian invasion.
“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route,” Elon Musk tweeted.
He responded to a tweet by a Ukrainian government official who asked Musk to provide the embattled country with Starlink stations.
“@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!” Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted.
Due to the Russian invasion, the Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been affected, particularly in the eastern and southern parts of the country where fighting has been heaviest, internet monitors said on Saturday.
While extremely costly to deploy, satellite technology can provide internet and connectivity for people who live in hard-to-serve and rural places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach. The technology can also be a critical backstop when hurricanes or other natural disasters disrupt communication.
Elon Musk said on January 15 that SpaceX had 1,469 Starlink satellites active and 272 moving to operational orbits soon.