Elon Musk announces launch of Starlink to provide internet in Ukraine

Ukraine has faced disruptions to internet since the start of the Russian invasion.
Elon Musk in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 1

Billionaire entrepreneur and SpaceX founder Elon Musk on Saturday said he has responded to the from the Ukrainian government to launch Starlink satellite internet.

Ukraine has faced "a series of significant disruptions to internet service," according to NetBlocks, after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale invasion of the country last week.

Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister and Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted to Musk on Saturday: "[W]hile 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."

The country's official Twitter account also called on Musk by retweeting the post from Fedorov and telling Musk, "Ukraine needs your support. Your stance and your actions matter."

Musk responded Saturday evening on Twitter: "Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route." The post now has more than 750,000 likes.

"Starlink provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet across the globe. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis," according to the Starlink website.

"Starlink is ideally suited for areas where connectivity has been unreliable or completely unavailable," the website states. 

The launch of Starlink will prevent further internet problems in Ukraine. Mashable reports that Ukrainians have 80% of the normal internet traffic from before the invasion.