Ukraine may not boast the firepower of Russia, but it surely has its own breakthrough: Elon Musk.
Tesla’s billionaire CEO is widely credited with playing an enormous role in Ukraine’s defense by delivering its Starlink satellite web service after a Russian invasion disrupted local web services in February.
Its SpaceX-owned service has installed 1000’s of terminals to maintain the Ukrainian military online.
“He’s really saving Ukraine” – Todd Humphreys, professor of aerospace engineering on the University of Texas told The Sunday Times in London.
The newspaper reported that Starlink also improved Ukrainian drone strikes. One Ukrainian Navy drone was present in Sevastopol, the Crimean headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, late last yr with a Starlink antenna attached to its stern.
“Musk has put the ability of the Internet within the hands of the Ukrainian military, which might be utilized in various ways,” said General Sir Richard Barrons, former head of the UK Forces Command.
“Having the Internet is amazingly necessary to the way in which war is fought,” he added. “Soldiers can flip the screen to indicate a tactical map of the battlefield, helping to advertise widespread situational awareness of where the enemy is. It makes a giant difference.”
Despite his efforts, Musk’s relationship with Ukraine is removed from rosy.
Last October, he got here under fire from President Volodymyr Zelensky for suggesting that Ukraine end the war by handing Crimea over to Russia, in addition to for holding a UN-supervised “re-” election that Russia had organized to annex several regions of the country.
Ukrainian ambassador to Germany he even tweeted: “Fk off is my very diplomatic answer to you @elonmusk.”
Musk initially threatened to withdraw funds to take care of the service, but never shut it down. The Sunday Times reported that it was unclear who would pay for Ukraine, but added that the US was believed to bear a number of the costs.