Musk says Starlink active in Ukraine as Russian invasion disrupts internet

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SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during a conversation with legendary game designer Todd Howard (not pictured) at the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, California, United States, on 13 June 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk said on Saturday the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service was available in Ukraine and SpaceX was sending more terminals to the country, including internet was discontinued due to the Russian invasion.

“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals on the way,” Musk tweeted.

He was responding to a tweet from a Ukrainian government official who asked Musk to provide the beleaguered country with Starlink stations.

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“@elonmusk, while you are trying to colonize Mars, Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets are successfully landing from space, Russian rockets are attacking Ukrainian civilians!” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted.

Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been affected by the Russian invasion, particularly in the south and east of the country where fighting has been heaviest, internet watchers said on Saturday. Read more

Although extremely expensive to deploy, satellite technology can provide Internet to people who live in rural or hard-to-serve areas where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach. Technology can also be an essential safety net when hurricanes or other natural disasters disrupt communications.

Musk said on Jan. 15 that SpaceX has 1,469 active Starlink satellites and 272 soon moving to operational orbits.

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Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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