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SpaceX Starlink Internet Has 150,000 Daily Users in Ukraine

Elon Musk's satellite internet service is helping the war-torn Eastern European country stay connected.

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Starlink

Starlink has helped keep Ukraine connected.

Sarah Tew/CNET

SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet has been vital for Ukrainians who've remained in the Eastern European country during the Russian invasion, a top Ukrainian official said in a tweet. The service from Elon Musk's rocket company has roughly 150,000 daily users in Ukraine, according to vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov.

"This is crucial support for Ukraine's infrastructure and restoring the destroyed territories," Fedorov, who also serves as the nation's minister of digital transformation, wrote. "Ukraine will stay connected no matter what."

Starlink is SpaceX's network of private, orbital satellites, aimed at providing an internet connection to anyone on the planet. Prototype satellites were launched into orbit in 2018 and the company has since deployed nearly 2,000 more across dozens of launches.

Days after the invasion began in late February, Starlink terminals were sent to Ukraine in response to a request from Fedorov -- Musk confirmed that the network was live in Ukraine and promised that more terminals would be sent to the country. He also warned people using the terminals to be cautious due to the likelihood that they'd be targeted by Russian troops in an attempt to disrupt communications.

The US government may have subsidized the operation to send Starlink terminals and service to Ukraine, The Washington Post reported in April.

SpaceX didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about Fedorov's tweet.

Watch this: Starlink space-based internet, explained