Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet service caught fire in the midst of Russia’s war on Ukraine

Image of article titled Elon Musk pledges Starlink support for Ukrainian Internet, won't block Russian news sources

picture: swimming pool (Getty Images)

Elon Musk’s Booming Satellite Internet Service starlink You may have found their newest customer base: Offline Ukrainians They were forced to go offline amid the fog of war.

Over the weekend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s social media phenomenon took to Twitter making sure A new batch of SpaceX’s Starlink stations are set to arrive in the war-torn country sometime this week. In the tweet, Zelensky personally thanked Musk and said the new stations would serve to provide internet access in “ruined cities”.

SpaceX began ramping up its efforts in Ukraine about two weeks ago, following a public appeal from Mikhailo Fedorov, the country’s deputy prime minister. In this case, Fedorov took Twitter Less than 48 hours after Russia shocked the world with its all-out conquest to address the CEO.

“While trying to colonize Mars – Russia is trying [sic] To occupy Ukraine! Fedorov said when addressing Musk. As your rockets land from space successfullyRussian missiles attack Ukrainian civilians!

Musk immediately responded, saying that SpaceX will add more terminals. So far, it looks like he’s been arrested.

The Internet infrastructure in Ukraine has withstood a beating From e Attacks And the turmoil since the beginning of the invasion, somehow remained remarkably flexible. Thanks in part to this resilience, Ukraine’s diverse internet infrastructure has “few choke points,” Alp Tucker of the monitoring organization NetBlocks recently told the Guardian. “If an invading country wanted to shut down the internet in Ukraine, that would really be a matter of physically entering internet exchange points and data centers and taking over that infrastructure,” Tucker said.

Although most Ukrainians still have some internet access, local broadband providers such as Lanet claim to have it. It said It was forced to postpone the repair of some damaged infrastructure due to “active military action”.

Meanwhile, OkrayNian, officials last week went to the public to launch digital counterattackFedorov called on volunteer hackers to launch cyber attacks against Russian companies, banks and government agencies. Recently, the Ukrainian government urge The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to essentially separate Russia from the global Internet, a move vehemently rejected by ICANN.

Starlink’s surprising efforts with regard to wartime internet infrastructure have already faced challenges. Over the weekend, mask claimed, without providing specific evidence, that some Starlink stations near conflict areas were jammed “for hours at a time.” Musk went on to say that the company was respond By reprioritizing cyber defense, the fast hub that it claimed may be delaying the company’s missile programs. SpaceX did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

Although it remains unclear to what extent the Russian government has interfered with Starlink’s services, similar disruptions were reported last week by rival satellite internet company Viasat. In this case, Viasat He said It experienced partial network outages in Ukraine and other European countries on the first day of the Russian invasion. According to NetBlocks, Ukrainian Viasat networks were still suffer Severe interruptions 11 days after the initial disturbance.

While Musk showed a willingness to help Ukraine, he said at the same time that he would not follow the example of the other United States comp and blocking access to questionable Russian news sources that publish potentially harmful information.

“Some governments (not Ukraine) have told Starlink to block Russian news sources,” Musk said twitter. “We will only do it at gunpoint.”

Public intervention in disaster situations has become something of a trend for Musk. Earlier this year, the billionaire sent Starlink stations to the tiny Pacific nation of Tonga after CollectiveI’ve A volcanic eruption has taken most of its inhabitants away from the Internet. Although Musk personally made it cool Displays From this entire exchange, the actual benefit of this effort was less clear.

Starlink wasn’t able to launch free internet in Tonga until late February, around the same time it received the cut fiber cables in Tonga. repairs And back online. This means that the actual Starlink effect was limited, thenewly Reports It suggests that it may play an important role in promoting communication across some of the remote villages on the island.

“It is ironic that a devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami bring to our shores state-of-the-art satellite and communications technology,” said Tonga Prime Minister Syaosi Sovalen. according to Reuters. “Elon Musk may not have known much about Tonga until January 15th, but he has donated generously.”