Elon Musk said his company SpaceX has delivered 15,000 Starlink internet kits to Ukraine since Russia invaded the country in February.
Starlink is SpaceX’s broadband service which uses satellites connected to terminals — satellite dishes — to provide internet to people on the ground.
The billionaire tweeted a video of a slideshow, which he said was shown at a SpaceX all-hands meeting he held last week.
Halfway through the video a slide appears saying “15,000 Starlinks delivered to Ukraine” with a photograph showing Starlink kits laid out in what appears to be a parking lot. It’s unclear whether the picture was taken in Ukraine.
It’s the first time SpaceX or Musk have publicly announced the number of Starlink kits sent to Ukraine since it activated its broadband service there in late February.
SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell told CNBC in March the company had sent “thousands” of Starlink kits to Ukraine, but did not give a specific number.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 5, 2022Ukraine’s vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who asked Musk in February to send his internet terminals to Ukraine, tweeted in early May to say that there were 150,000 daily users of Starlink in the country.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praised Starlink in a Wired interview published Thursday. He said the service has helped Ukraine overcome Russian propaganda by providing internet to Ukrainians who lost internet connectivity and were told by Russian forces that their country doesn’t exist anymore.
Reports suggest SpaceX’s internet network has also helped Ukrainian troops.
A Ukrainian soldier told British freelance journalist David Patrikarakos in April that Starlink had allowed Ukrainian troops to stay online while Russia was attacking internet infrastructure.