Last weekend, Ukraine’s vice prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, tweeted an urgent plea to billionaire Elon Musk for help in keeping the Internet operating amid a brutal Russian invasion.
@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! 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.
Musk responded quickly turned SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service on over Ukraine, and within 48 hours a truckload of user antennas and terminals arrived in the embattled nation. The actions garnered worldwide praise for the world’s wealthiest individual. Amid all the acclaim, however, more cautious voices warned of a hidden danger that could put Ukrainian lives at risk.
This morning, five days after the shipment arrived, CNN published a detailed story (SpaceX sent Starlink internet terminals to Ukraine. They could paint a ‘giant target’ on users’ backs, experts say) outlining the potential risks to Ukrainian Starlink users.
After the story went live, Musk slapped a warning label on the terminals via Twitter.
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.
Hopefully, Ukraine officials are taking proper precautions and Starlink helps rather than adds to their problems.