Despite the world's mixed opinions about Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the man has never shied away from charity, and he insists his life's goal basically comes down to helping others. In a recent tweet exchanged, Musk told Ukraine that SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet is active in the country, and that more terminals are already "en route."
Editor's Update: It appears the Starlink terminals have arrived in Ukraine. Musk was somehow able to get them delivered in just two days.
The response from Musk came as a Twitter reply to Vice Prime Minister and Minister Digital Transformation for Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov. The Ukrainian government official tweeted at the Tesla and SpaceX CEO directly asking that he provide Ukraine with Starlink stations as Russia is attempting to occupy the country, and communication is paramount. Fedorov wrote:
“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.”
Musk didn't respond right away, though he did get back to the prime minister the same day, some 10 hours later. Musk's response was short and to the point. He answered:
“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route."
We don't know for sure if Starlink was already active and available at all in Ukraine. Since Musk says "now active," it's a bit ambiguous. Regardless, the CEO also said that more terminals are on the way to Ukraine, which is the important part here. Even if Starlink is active in the country, it needs terminals to access the service.
As far as we understand, Russia's Putin hasn't worked to cut off all communications in Ukraine, but it may happen. Even if Russia doesn't make it a priority, the war and devastation in Ukraine will certainly knock out power and internet services.
If Ukraine loses the ability to communicate internally, as well as share key details with world leaders, it could add a catastrophic challenge to an already incredibly terrible and dire situation.