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Elon Musk activates Starlink satellite internet for Ukraine for free

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (NASA / Aubrey Gemignani/TNS)
February 28, 2022

Billionaire Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX, activated SpaceX’s Starlink satellite system for Ukraine over the weekend, allowing the nation to have internet access during the ongoing Russian invasion.  

Musk made the move after Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, asked the tech entrepreneur for help on Twitter.

“@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! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand,” Fedorov tweeted.

The Ukrainian government’s official Twitter account retweeted Fedorov’s post to draw more attention to the request.

“Dear @elonmusk, Ukraine needs your support,” the nation tweeted. “Your stance and your actions matter. An appeal by our Minister of Digital Transformation here.”

Hours after Fedorov asked for help, Musk responded on Twitter, writing that Starlink was active in the war-torn country.

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

Fedorov again tweeted at Musk, thanking him for his support.

“Starlink terminals are coming to Ukraine! Thank you @elonmusk , thank you everyone, who supported Ukraine!” Fedorov’s tweet stated.

The Ukrainian government also posted a thank you tweet, writing, “Thanx, appreciate it.”

According to Starlink’s website, the groundbreaking system “provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet across the globe.”

“Using advanced satellites in a low orbit, Starlink enables video calls, online gaming, streaming, and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet,” the website states. “Users can expect to see download speeds between 100 Mb/s and 200 Mb/s and latency as low as 20ms in most locations.”

“Starlink is ideally suited for areas where connectivity has been unreliable or completely unavailable,” it continues. “People across the globe are using Starlink to gain access to education, health services and even communications support during natural disasters.”

Musk activated Starlink in Ukraine on the same day that Russian troops hammered Kyiv with attacks.

Saturday marked the third day in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Russian troops attempting to enter Kyiv as Ukrainian forces and thousands of civilian volunteers defended the city.

Russian troops failed to take Kyiv — the capital city of Ukraine and a key target in the Russian invasion — early Saturday despite an onslaught of airstrikes and armed incursions, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“We knew that the night would be difficult because the Russian Federation would use all its resources and reserves to inflict on us maximum damage in the maximum number of locations,” President Zelensky’s adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, said early Saturday. “Kyiv is their priority number one because the main declared goal of the Russian operation is the annihilation of Ukraine’s political and military leadership. That is why they are pouring the maximum number of Russian troops toward Kyiv.”