Billionaire Elon Musk said over the weekend that his company SpaceX sent 15,000 Starlink satellite internet kits to Ukraine since the country was invaded by Russia in February.
Musk tweeted a video on Sunday revealing a slideshow that was shown at a company meeting the week before. One of the slides includes the claim that “15,000 Starlinks delivered to Ukraine.”
SpaceX activated its Starlink service, which uses satellites to provide a broadband internet connection, in Ukraine at the end of February. This is the first time that the company or Musk has publicly stated the number of kits sent. SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell had told CNBC that the company sent “thousands,” but did not provide details.
Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov said at the beginning of May that there were 150,000 daily Starlink users in the country: “Rough data on Starlink's usage: around 150K active users per day. This is crucial support for Ukraine's infrastructure and restoring the destroyed territories. Ukraine will stay connected no matter what.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told Wired in an interview this month that the Starlink system has been “very effective,” at providing internet access in the country.
“It helped us a lot, in many moments related to the blockade of our cities, towns, and related to the occupied territories,” he said. “Sometimes we completely lost communication with those places. To lose contact with those people is to lose control completely, to lose reality. Believe me: People who got out of the occupied cities, where there was no such assistance as Starlink, said that the Russians told them that Ukraine doesn’t exist anymore, and some people even began to believe it. I am really grateful for the support of Starlink.”
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