Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted Monday that the nation had received a shipment of Starlink user terminals amid Internet outages as Russia invades. Photo courtesy Mykhailo Fedorov/Twitter
Feb. 28 (UPI) — A shipment of SpaceX’s Starlink user terminals arrived in Ukraine on Monday, providing Ukrainians access to the satellite Internet network as traditional service faces interruptions from invading Russian forces.
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister and minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted that boxes of the antennas had arrived after he pleaded with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for help over the weekend.
“Starlink — here. Thanks, @elonmusk,” Fedorov wrote.
“You are most welcome,” Musk replied.
SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites into orbit to make up the network of private, orbital satellites with the goal of providing Internet access to people throughout the world.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began early Thursday, parts of the country have seen reduced Internet connectivity with outages seemingly centered around Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, located about 25 miles from the Russian border, The Verge reported.
Russia has also been linked to cyberattacks that have knocked Ukrainian services offline, including one as recently as Thursday that saw left government websites down.
Fedorov tweeted a plea to Musk on Saturday morning asking the SpaceX CEO to provide the country with Starlink stations.
“While you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! Fedorov wrote.
Hours later, Musk responded that Starlink service was active in Ukraine and that more terminals were “en route.”