• Russian invaders destroyed some of Ukraine's internet infrastructure
  • Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov reached out to Musk on Twitter
  • SpaceX launched 50 new Starlink satellites into orbit on Feb. 25

SpaceX founder Elon Musk immediately deployed help after a high-ranking Ukrainian government official directly sought his help following the internet outages created by invading Russian forces.

Musk tweeted that he had activated his commercial internet network Starlink in Ukraine and "more terminals en route." The tech billionaire's statement came after Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov reached out to him for help via Twitter.

"While you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine!” the official tweeted Saturday. "While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand."

Elon Musk and his brother reportedly face a US probe over stock trades last year
Elon Musk and his brother reportedly face a US probe over stock trades last year AFP / JIM WATSON

Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been impacted by the Russian invasion, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the country, where fighting has been intense. Satellite technology can offer internet for people in rural areas or hard-to-reach places.

SpaceX has thousands of Starlink satellites in orbit, enabling the commercial internet network to beam broadband services without fiber-optic cables. It provides crucial support or reinforcement in times when natural disasters disrupt communication.

Starlink could help keep Ukraine stay online after Russian invaders destroyed their internet infrastructure. SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 satellites since 2019 and it's expected to reach up to 14,000.

The company launched 50 new Starlink satellites into orbit on Feb. 25, with the next mission scheduled for Thursday. Last month, Musk said SpaceX had 1,469 active Starlink satellites and 272 getting into operation orbits very soon.

This is not the first time the tech billionaire used his commercial internet network, Starlink, to help other countries. On Feb. 23, Starlink launched a free high-speed internet service to help Tonga connect its remote villages that were cut off after a devastating volcanic eruption followed by a tsunami in January.

Musk's SpaceX donated 50 VSAT terminals to be given to worst-hit outlying islands in Tonga. Following the disasters, Musk asked the people in the Polynesian country if they could "let us know if it is important for SpaceX to send over Starlink terminals?"

New Zealand lawmaker Shane Reti wrote to the tech billionaire asking for his help with the internet connection problem. On Twitter, the lawmaker expressed that he is "very pleased" with Musk's decision to provide connectivity in Tonga.