It’s really depressing when you’re isolated from the whole world and you can’t call anyone or read the news. Especially when bullets and explosive fragments are flying and you don’t know where you stand. In addition, in the places of combat, the repair of the destroyed communication infrastructure is practically impossible.
Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, sent a message to tech pioneer Elon Musk via Twitter in late February 2022, asking him to help set up a Starlink satellite internet in Ukraine. Musk responded and promised to help. Since then, thousands of Starlink devices have been delivered to Ukraine for deployment under critical conditions. Companies, organizations, associations and citizens have also bought the systems.
For example, Starlink contributes to the restoration of connectivity and Internet access in cities and towns where telecommunications infrastructure has been severely damaged by Russian bombing, rocket attacks and military occupation. Through Starlink technology, Ukrainians have managed to enable connections at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant site, in Irpin, Bucha, Ivankiv, Vorzel, kyiv and the Chernihiv region and many other cities and towns in the country.
Starlink terminals are exactly what we need to solve internet connection problems quickly and efficiently. It can’t restore the destroyed infrastructure, but it does help us solve the problem of no Internet connection on the site. Especially in places where the relevant infrastructure has been completely destroyed by the Russian military.
“Starlink satellite links are used even by military personnel”
Network operators can use the Starlink satellite connection to temporarily provide their customers in the now-liberated areas with high-quality Internet access while they repair damaged infrastructure. Starlink is also used by companies and institutions that provide critical services in areas where no other means of communication are available. It connects hospitals and the fire service.
Starlink satellite links are even used by military personnel. Its main purpose is to allow a user to stay online when no other alternatives are available. For example, if the fixed or mobile internet has no coverage due to damaged cables or fails.
Where infrastructure has been destroyed and cables snapped by bombing, Starlink provides an alternate channel of information exchange and the only tool to quickly reboot a base station. Thousands of Ukrainians use the solution. For example, in Ivankiv, which suffered from occupation for a long time. After the Russians left, residents were finally able to contact their families to tell them they were safe. White Internet satellite dishes are bringing communications back to war-torn cities around kyiv. When destroyed infrastructure is restored, Starlink devices typically go where they are needed to rebuild basic infrastructure.
But the possibilities of Elon Musk’s terminals go further. They offer the possibility of teaching online. They allow hospital staff to stay in touch with colleagues and provide care remotely. They also make it possible for government agencies to resume their functions and provide services to the people in the areas where the occupying forces left. Starlink is even used efficiently by police officers. They can stay in touch and respond to emergency calls if the existing control room goes down.
Ukraine is very lucky that this system was launched ahead of schedule. And the feedback they receive is no less important. After all, such satellite terminals are mainly used for private purposes around the world. They are often sold for personal use in places where the connection is poor. In Ukraine, Starlink has become a crucial communication tool in areas where the existing communication infrastructure has been destroyed.