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Elon Musk Activates Starlink Satellites to Restore Internet in Ukraine

Musk Starlink Ukraine
Elon Musk activated the Starlink satellite service in Ukraine. Credit: Daniel Oberhaus / Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY 4.0

Elon Musk said early on Sunday that his Starlink satellite service is activated in Ukraine after a government official in Kyiv called on him to supply satellite-based communications to help resist Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine,” Musk tweeted, adding “more terminals en route.”

The tweet came some 10 hours after Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov urged Musk to provide Starlink services to Ukraine, days after it was invaded by neighboring Russia.

“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,” Fedorov tweeted at Musk.

He also called on the billionaire “to address sane Russians to stand” against their government’s invasion.

Internet monitor NetBlocks said Ukraine has seen a “series of significant disruptions to internet service” since Thursday when Russia launched military operations in the country.

Musk’s Starlink helps nations facing threats or natural disasters like Ukraine, Tonga

Starlink operates a constellation of more than 2,000 satellites that aim to provide internet access across the planet.

The company on Friday launched a further 50 Starlink satellites and many more are slated to be put into Earth’s orbit. It currently has more than 1,600 satellites orbiting in space — but that’s only the beginning for the tech maven, who plans to launch up to 12,000, reports Smithsonian Magazine.

Earlier in February, Musk announced that he would help Tonga restore internet service with his Starlink satellites after the volcano eruption and tsunami destroyed the only undersea cable that had given the Pacific island nation communications connections to the outside world.

The multibillionaire inventor of the Starlink telecommunications system stated on Twitter that he was interested in adding more satellites to help Tonga restore its communications with the rest of the world, as well as its citizens, who live on an archipelago of many islands.

The vast network of satellites that have been deployed into space is creating a bit of gridlock in the heavens, with Musk’s satellites now responsible for as many as 1,600 near-crashes in orbit every week, according to a report from Futurism.

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