Ukraine Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov recently confirmed that a fresh batch of Starlink terminals has arrived in the country. In a post on Twitter, Fedorov noted that the satellite internet system not only helps Ukrainians be connected to the internet today — it is also helping the country fight against an “old evil.”
“A new batch of Starlink stations is already in Ukraine! Technology is our future. Today it helps Ukrainians! It helps the new good to defeat the old evil. Ukraine is the future! Thank you Elon Musk! Thank you Mateusz Morawiecki!” Fedorov wrote, specifically citing the SpaceX CEO and the Polish Prime Minister.
The use of Starlink’s internet service across Ukraine appears to have increased significantly over the past weeks. Just this past Sunday, the Starlink mobile app became the most downloaded application from the Apple App Store in Ukraine. The app had about 21,000 installs globally on Sunday from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, with a good portion of the downloads coming from Ukraine. Overall, the Starlink app has nearly 100,000 installs across Ukraine, according to analytics firm Sensor Tower.
The capability of Starlink to provide high-speed wireless internet even in remote areas is likely among the reasons behind the satellite internet system’s popularity in the country. Ukraine’s internet has seen a growing number of outages since Russia began its invasion three weeks ago. The British Ministry of Defense has noted that Russia is probably targeting Ukraine’s communications infrastructure, though the outages could also be the result of collateral damage from the battles being waged in the country.
Initial tests of Starlink’s capabilities in Ukraine have shown that the satellite internet system could reach speeds over 200 Mbps. This was highly appreciated by the country’s officials, though it also caught the ire of Russian space agency head Dmitry Rogozin. The Roscosmos head noted that by providing Ukraine with Starlink terminals, Elon Musk was taking a side in the war despite the satellite internet service being promoted as civilian technology.
In a response on Twitter, Elon Musk noted that SpaceX sent over Starlink to Ukraine because the country was suffering from strange internet outages. And since the satellite internet system could help, there was no reason why SpaceX could not extend a helping hand. “Ukraine civilian internet was experiencing strange outages – bad weather perhaps? – so SpaceX is helping fix it,” Musk wrote.
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