‘Power of Elon Musk’: Photo shows how Starlink helped Ukrainians access internet

  • The internet services were disrupted in Ukraine after Russian invasion in what Putin calls a “special military operation”.
In this image shared by Ukrainian journalist Kristina Berdynskykh, residents of a village in Ukraine's Kyiv region can be seen using mobile phones to access internet via Starlink.(Facebook / Kristina Berdynskykh)
In this image shared by Ukrainian journalist Kristina Berdynskykh, residents of a village in Ukraine's Kyiv region can be seen using mobile phones to access internet via Starlink.(Facebook / Kristina Berdynskykh)
Published on Apr 09, 2022 10:09 AM IST
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A Ukrainian journalist on Friday showed how SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s decision to active its Starlink service in the war-hit country is helping residents to access the internet in remote villages. Kristina Berdynskykh shared an image of residents of a village in the Kyiv region, saying they were using their mobile phones to connect to their relatives for the first time since internet services got disrupted following the Russian invasion.

“Here is the power of Elon Musk! Residents of Ivankiv, which also lacks electricity, mobile communications, and the Internet, are connecting with their relatives for the first time thanks to Starlink and volunteers who brought it to the city”, the journalist wrote.

SpaceX is deploying its Starlink constellation in the low-Earth orbit to provide high-speed internet around the world, with an initial focus on rural and underserved areas. The American aerospace company activated its Starlink service in Ukraine on February 26, days after a government minister urged Elon Musk to provide internet access.

“We were close to getting the approvals to offer service but the documents weren’t all signed,” SpaceX head Gwynne Shotwell said during a panel discussion last month in Washington. After the conflict began, “they tweeted at my boss and that was permission to provide capability.”

Earlier this week, the US Agency for International Development said it delivered 5,000 of Starlink terminals to Ukraine in a bid to bolster the internet access for residents.

“The terminals will allow public officials and critical citizen service providers to continue to communicate within Ukraine and with the outside world,” even if Russia severs other communications infrastructure in the country, the agency said in a statement Tuesday.

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