Elon Musk tweeted late on May 10 that Russia is stepping up its efforts against the SpaceX Starlink satellite network being used by the Ukrainian military.
Musk sent transmitters to Ukraine near the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s invasion after ground-based transmission systems were knocked offline.
Starlink terminals, the satellite internet connection service of Musk’s aerospace company SpaceX, allow Ukrainians independent access to the internet.
The service also allows the country to keep in touch with the outside world via its constellation of low-earth orbit satellites. Starlink is particularly used in areas bombed by Russia and remote areas.
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The head of Russia’s space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, has threatened Musk’s life, the Tesla CEO said in a tweet earlier this week. “You will have to answer in an adult way, Elon, no matter how you turn on the fool,” Rogozin wrote in a message.
Putin had expected his military to be able to take over Ukraine in a matter of a few days. However, strong Ukrainian resistance and very poor performance by Russia’s military have combined to create a long-lasting conflict.
That in turn has allowed time for western nations and the NATO alliance to impose economic sanctions on Russia designed to curtail its ability to sustain its war. In addition, hundreds of Western companies have withdrawn from Russia.
The moves have largely cut off the nation from the rest of the world, economically.
Ukraine has been receiving an increasing supply of military gear from the United States and other nations in addition to the technological support from Musk’s Starlink.