Elon Musk Activates Starlink in Ukraine, Warns of Russian Sabotage – CNET

Elon Musk Activates Starlink in Ukraine, Warns of Russian Sabotage – CNET

Elon Musk mid-sentence

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says he’s sending more Starlink terminals to Ukraine to provide internet access during the war.

Anadolu Agency/Contributor/Getty Images

This story is part of War in Ukraine, CNET’s coverage of events there and of the wider effects on the world.

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service is active in Ukraine and more terminals are being sent as invading Russian troops disrupt internet access, according to CEO Elon Musk.

At the same time, Musk urged people in Ukraine using the Starlink systems to be cautious because the “probability of being targeted is high.” On Thursday, he cautioned people to turn on the devices only when needed and to place antenna as far away from people as possible. Musk added that light camouflage could be placed over antenna to help avoid visual detection.

Satellite signals can reportedly be used to geolocate and target people

Musk’s donations were in response to a plea last week from a senior Ukrainian government official to provide Starlink stations to the country.

“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,” tweeted Mykhailo Fedorov, the vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation.

A batch of Starlink stations arrived in Ukraine in a truck Monday, according to a tweet by Fedorov, who expressed his appreciation to Musk.

Starlink is the company’s growing network of private, orbital satellites that aims to provide internet connections to anyone on the planet. The prototype satellites were launched into orbit in 2018 and the company has since deployed nearly 2,000 Starlink satellites into orbit across dozens of successful launches.

The satellite-based service provides an alternative to land-based systems that can often be difficult to deploy in remote areas or are otherwise vulnerable to interruption by natural disaster or, in this case, war.

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