On Monday, Ukraine said it had received donated Starlink satellite internet terminals, but an internet security researcher warned these could become Russian targets. On Saturday, Musk said Starlink was activated in Ukraine and SpaceX was sending more terminals to the country, responding to a tweet by a Ukraine government official who asked Musk to provide the embattled country with Starlink stations.
Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov thanked Starlink for “keeping our cities connected and emergency services saving lives!” But he said the country needs generators to keep Starlink service online due to Russian attacks on infrastructure.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk warned there was a high chance the company’s Starlink satellite broadband service could be “targeted” in Ukraine, which has been hit by Russian invasion.
“Important warning: Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so probability of being targeted is high. Please use with caution,” Musk tweeted.
He asked users to “turn on Starlink only when needed and place antenna away as far away from people as possible” and “place light camouflage over antenna to avoid visual detection.”
Elon Musk won’t block Russian news; says he’s a free speech absolutist
Elon Musk said Saturday that his company won’t block access to Russian media sources on its Starlink internet system despite requests from some governments.
“Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources,” Musk wrote on Twitter Saturday (March 5). “We will not do so unless at gunpoint.”
Some tech companies like Google and Microsoft have worked to block Russian media outlets like the state-run RT network and Sputnik, according to Newsweek, but Musk’s statement implied Starlink would not block individual Russian-based news agencies.