Update (1700ET): It appears Elon Musk heard the request and has responded:
Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2022
We wonder if this will get him an invitation to The White House.
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Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, asked SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk for Starlink stations and access to satellite internet as Russia continues its third day of incursions.
"@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," Fedorov tweeted on Saturday.
@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.— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 26, 2022
The request for next-generation satellite internet comes as Ukraine's primary internet provider, GigaTrans, reported a widespread outrage on Friday, according to internet blockage observatory NetBlocks.
"We currently observe national connectivity at 87% of ordinary levels, a figure that reflects service disruptions as well as population flight and the shuttering of homes and businesses since the morning of the 24th.
"While there is no nation-scale blackout, little is being heard from the worst affected regions, and for others there's an ever-present fear that connectivity could worsen at any moment, cutting off friends and family," Alp Toker, director of NetBlocks, told Reuters
⚠️ Update: Some connectivity has returned to #Ukraine internet backbone provider GigaTrans but service remains intermittent at present. The incident comes amid fighting around capital city #Kyiv. It is unclear if connectivity will be sustained.— NetBlocks (@netblocks) February 26, 2022
📰 Report: https://t.co/S0qJQ7CbNv pic.twitter.com/aoByXRMJLg
What's remarkable is to see a top Ukrainian official asking the world's richest man for internet access on Twitter. Musk has yet to respond to the tweet but could be willing to help as he recently sent a team of SpaceX engineers to the tiny Pacific island nation of Tonga to restore internet connectivity after a nearby eruption of a massive volcano severed undersea communications cables.
Twitter users called on the billionaire to support Ukraine and help restore the country's internet. However, it remains to be seen if Musk would get directly involved in picking sides.