Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke by phone with Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX, and Starlink, and has revealed what transpired during that call.
“Had a conversation with @elonmusk. “I’m grateful to him for his words and actions in support of Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in a tweet.
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“We’ll get another set of Starlink systems for damaged cities next week.” We spoke about prospective space initiatives. But I’ll talk about it after the conflict.” Musk did not respond to the tweet, but he did “like” it.
On Friday, the world’s richest man also stated that he had been requested by certain countries to block Russian news from being distributed on Starlink, but that he was a “free speech absolutist” and would not do so.
“Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint. Sorry to be a free speech absolutist,” the billionaire said.
Musk has been active in the battle since deploying Starlink terminals to assist Ukraine communicate throughout the fight, but he has cautioned that they may be attacked.
“Important warning: Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so probability of being targeted is high,” Musk said on twitter. “Please use with caution.”
A individual, apparently from Ukraine, inquired about the usage of Starlink. “Hey @elonmusk, do you have any tips on how to utilize with caution?” This is in reference to communications delivered over Starlink?” the individual stated. “Only use Starlink when necessary, and keep the antenna as far away from people as possible,” the CEO said.
“Use light camouflage to cover the antenna to avoid visible detection,” he said. “Could Starlink be under threat of a hack from Russia, like Viasat was a few weeks ago?” another individual wondered. “On the day of the invasion, almost all Viasat Ukraine user terminals were made permanently inoperable by a Russian cyberattack, therefore… absolutely,” the CEO replied.
Another individual questioned Musk if Starlink could stop it, to which Musk replied, “Game on.” The CEO also responded to Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, who stated, “@elonmusk @SpaceX @SpaceX Many thanks, Starlink! Starlink connects our cities and helps emergency services save lives! With Russian cyber-attacks on our infrastructure, we need generators to keep Starlinks and life-saving services operational — any suggestions? @Honda @ChampionGen @Westinghouse @DuroMaxPower.”
“Software is being updated to lower peak power usage so that Starlink may be charged from a vehicle cigarette lighter.” “Mobile roaming is enabled, so the phased array antenna can sustain service when the car is moving,” the CEO explained. Musk said on Saturday that Starlink was operational in Ukraine, and he was applauded for pitching in to help Ukraine and the country, who congratulated him publicly. “Starlink — here,” Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov announced in a tweet that included a photo of the Internet connectivity equipment. “I appreciate it, @elonmusk.”