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Satellite Internet Terminals, Sent by Elon Musk, Arrive in Ukraine

todayMarch 1, 2022 6

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Ukraine’s vice prime minister said on Monday that internet terminals sent by Elon Musk, which were designed to work with satellites orbiting in space to provide online access, had arrived in the country.

One of Mr. Musk’s companies, SpaceX, has deployed thousands of satellites into low-Earth orbit over the past three years as part of its business to beam high-speed internet service from more than 100 miles above the planet.

Satellite internet services like Mr. Musk’s, which is known as Starlink, can be useful in parts of the world where people cannot easily access conventional internet providers, whether because of technical limitations, government restrictions or other barriers.

There have been a number of internet disruptions in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began last week. On Saturday, Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov of Ukraine, who is also the minister of digital transformation, wrote to Mr. Musk on Twitter to ask for Starlink stations.

“While you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine!” Mr. Fedorov wrote. “While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people!”

Mr. Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur who is also the chief executive of the electric-car maker Tesla, said that the Starlink service was now active in Ukraine and that he was sending more of the terminals users would need to access a satellite internet signal through the system.

Mr. Fedorov posted a photo on Twitter on Monday that appeared to show a military truck loaded with Starlink terminals.

“Starlink — here,” he wrote, and thanked Mr. Musk.

“You are most welcome,” Mr. Musk wrote back.

It was unclear as of early Tuesday morning how many Starlink terminals had arrived in the country, where they would be available or who would be allowed to use them. SpaceX did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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