Satellite internet devices from Elon Musk’s company Starlink have arrived in Ukraine, according to photos from Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who thanked the tech entrepreneur on social media.
Mr Federov posted a photo on Twitter on Monday of a truck filled with an unknown number of the systems, which connect with low-flying satellites to deliver high-speed internet to hard-to-reach areas.
The minister requested Mr Musk’s assistance over the weekend, after Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion has left parts of the country without internet. “@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,” Mr Fedorov tweeted at the time.
Starlink service is now operational in the country, according to Mr Musk.
“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route,” the entrepreneur tweeted on Saturday.
The SpaceX system, which connects with a network of nearly 2,000 satellites, does not require the same kind of extensive ground-based fiber-optic infrastructure as other forms of internet.
Users on the ground access the broadband signals beamed back to Earth using a kit sold by SpaceX.
SpaceX plans to eventually have as many as 12,000 as part of its high-speed internet network.
Partial internet outages have already affected Ukraine as fighting continues around Kyiv and other key cities.
Mr Fedorov took to Twitter to thank the SpaceX boss for his quick action.
“Starlink terminals are coming to Ukraine! Thank you (Elon Musk), thank you everyone, who supported Ukraine!” he tweeted.
The country’s official Twitter account also responded to Mr Musk’s action.
“Thanx, appreciate it,” the @ukraine account tweeted.
Mr Fedorov has also called on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Netflix and Google to block Russian accounts in response to the invasion.
“We’ve also asked (Netflix) for the support. We appealed to them to block the Russian Federation’s access to Netflix and shut off Russian content. We believe you do care. Let’s stop this disgraceful bloody war!” he tweeted.
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