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Elon Musk activates Starlink satellites to give Ukraine data backup

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk said on Saturday that the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service is available in Ukraine and SpaceX is sending more terminals to the country, whose internet has been disrupted due to the Russian invasion, according to Reuters.

Musk’s SpaceX has thousands of Starlink satellites in orbit, which allow the company to beam broadband services around Earth, without the need for fiber-optic cables. The satellites could keep Ukraine online if its internet infrastructure is damaged by Russia’s attacks.

Musk’s move came in response to a plea by Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov, who called for help on Saturday, as Ukraine fought off an invasion and sustained cyberattacks by Russian forces, Politico reports.

Tweeting directly at Musk, Fedorov said: “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.”

In response, Musk said: “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.”