It appears that SpaceX is only getting started with its efforts in helping keep Ukraine connected to the internet despite the ongoing Russian invasion. In a recent announcement, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky stated that Elon Musk has pledged to send another batch of Starlink satellite terminals to the country, which would then be deployed in cities that have been damaged by the conflict.
Despite the grim circumstances of Starlink’s upcoming deployment in Ukraine, Zelensky shared some optimism in his announcement, stating that he and Musk also talked about “possible space projects” that can be pursued after the war. The Ukrainian President further highlighted that he is personally grateful to Musk for “supporting Ukraine with words and deeds.”
“Talked to Elon Musk. I’m grateful to him for supporting Ukraine with words and deeds. Next week we will receive another batch of Starlink systems for destroyed cities. Discussed possible space projects. But I’ll talk about this after the war,” Zelensky posted on his personal Twitter account.
The Ukraine president shared a brief clip of his conversation with the SpaceX CEO on his official Instagram page. The clip was only a few seconds long, but it clearly showed Musk and Zelensky speaking with each other on Zoom. The President was animated in the conversation, even inviting Elon Musk to visit Ukraine after the war is over.
“If you have time after the war, you are very welcome. I invite you,” Zelensky said. Musk responded that the President’s invitation “sounds good.” “I look forward to visiting,” Musk replied.
Elon Musk’s involvement in the ongoing Ukrainian conflict began after Ukraine Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov asked the CEO if he could send Starlink terminals to the besieged country. Musk responded by sending over a truckload of Starlink terminals to Ukraine, which the official stated were pivotal in saving a lot of lives. Prior to the arrival of Starlink terminals in the country, Ukraine’s internet connection was seemingly being disrupted.
Musk’s Starlink donation to Ukraine was not appreciated by Russian space agency head Dmitry Rogozin, who accused the CEO of taking sides in the conflict. In later posts on Twitter, Musk confirmed that some Starlink terminals near conflict areas in Ukraine were being jammed for several hours at a time. The CEO later confirmed that a software update to the Starlink terminals allowed the satellite system to bypass the jamming. Musk joked in a follow-up post that in a way, SpaceX’s experiences in Ukraine today are “free QA” for the company’s Starlink program.