Elon Musk’s Starlink Terminals Are Reportedly Making a Difference in Ukraine

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Ukraine Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov says that the Starlink satellites Elon Musk sent to the country are proving to be “very effective” at keeping the war-torn citizens connected amid Russian shellings. And during an interview, he shared that the Tesla owner has been continuously sending thousands more terminals to help ensure that his people never suffer a complete internet outage.

At a Glance

  • When the Russian invasion began, Fedorov urged Elon Musk to activate his Starlink internet service over Ukraine through Twitter.
  • Within hours, Musk had not only turned on the service, but he also shipped thousands more terminals to the country.
  • Fedorov says Starlink is making a difference for the people.
  • Furthermore, Musk is continuing to ship terminals to Ukraine daily to ensure every citizen has a reliable internet connection.
  • But while the technology is getting people through outages, Fedorov fears it can’t power the entire country if all other services collapse.

Mykhailo Fedorov was able to use the Starlink service to speak to the Washington Post today from an undisclosed location. And he said that not only are Musk’s efforts helping Ukraine, but the space travel mogul is still doing his best to amp up internet connections to everyone living inside the country.

“The quality of the link is excellent,” Fedorov shared. “We are using thousands, in the area of thousands, of terminals with new shipments arriving every other day.”

The relief came two days after the war officially began. On February 26th, Fedorov tweeted a plea to Elon Musk asking for help.

“@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!” he wrote. “We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”

And within a few hours, Musk responded to the Tweet saying that “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”

The technology has helped families communicate with loved ones outside the Ukraine borders, kept tech companies live and functioning, and helped the military stay ahead of incoming attacks.

According to The Times of London, a Ukrainian unit is using Starlink to connect its drones attacking Russian forces.

There are currently more than 5,000 terminals throughout the country. But despite Musk’s efforts to connect more people, officials fear that the system alone can’t keep Ukraine connected. However, it is helping people get through temporary outages from their main providers.

Currently, Mykhailo Fedorov and his staff are working with European leaders to find more satellite and cellular companies that could help if Ukraine falls under widespread and long-term internet outages.