Elon Musk’s SpaceX sends more Starlink terminals to Ukraine

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister, thanked Musk for the Starlink stations

Joe Middleton
Saturday 12 March 2022 11:59 GMT
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has sent a second shipment of Starlink terminals to Ukraine, prompting thanks from Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

SpaceX delivered the first batch of the satellite-based internet system to the embattled country earlier this month, shortly after Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his troops to invade the country.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s vice prime minister, said the country had received the new devices, that market themselves as being “ideally suited” for areas where internet service is unreliable or unavailable.

In a tweet on Wednesday, he said: “Received the second shipment of Starlink stations! @elonmusk keeps his word! Thank you for supporting Ukraine and peace in the entire world! @OMarkarova thanks!”

Mr Fedorov was the politician who originally contacted the tech billionaire for assistance after Russian bombardments in major Ukrainian cities caused a lack of internet connectivity.

In a tweet on February 26, he said: “@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.”

The SpaceX chief executive replied on the same day: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has also previously thanked Mr Musk for giving Ukraine access to his Starlink system.

“I’m grateful to him for supporting Ukraine with words and deeds” Mr Zelensky said in a tweet. “Next week we will receive another batch of Starlink systems for destroyed cities.”

He joked that they discussed possible space projects, which he would talk about “after the war.”

Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko was also pictured with a shipment of the Starlink systems that had arrived in the capital city. He said Starlink would help secure the work of critical infrastructure and the defense of the city.

Nexta, a Belorussian media outlet, tweeted today that Mr Musk’s Starlink service could now be accessed in parts of Ukraine.

Several large Ukrainian cities remained without internet or phone connection after being shelled by Russian troops.

It comes as Russian ground forces are now around 25 km (15 miles) from the centre of Kyiv as fighting continues northwest of the city on Saturday.

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