As conflict engulfs much of Ukraine, Elon Musk stepped forward this week to answer a call for help from one of the nation’s top officials. For many months, Vladimir Putin’s troops have been amassing in ever-growing numbers, across much of the Ukrainian-Russian border. As talks between the nations broke down and became ever tense, it seemed almost inevitable that something had to give. On Feb. 24, that inevitably became a reality when just after 5 a.m. local time, Russian forces began their advances across Ukraine’s borders.
In the following days, once-promising peace talks would be reduced to fighting in the streets as Putin’s forces were met with unexpected bravery and gallantry, their progress slower than expected as Ukrainian forces and able-bodied civilians joined ranks to repel the invaders.
“I’m Ready”: Ukraine’s civilians take up arms as volunteer fighters armed with assault rifles patrolled central Kyiv on Friday, poised to defend their country.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 26, 2022
Many U.S politicians have weighed in on the conflict offering bipartisan support for Ukraine and President Zelensky, who himself has refused a U.S offer of evacuation and is currently defending the capital, Kyiv, amongst the ranks of his military.
Senator Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said “now that the invasion has begun, we can no longer afford to drag our feet in taking action to support Ukraine’s ability to defend itself, bolster NATO’s eastern flank, and deter Putin from continuing his reckless affront to the free world.” in a statement, released on Monday.
On Monday, it was confirmed that Elon Musk, and the team at Starlink, had themselves begun taking action. Following a Twitter conversation between Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister, Mykhailo Fedorov & Starlink Founder and CEO Elon Musk, just a few days earlier, pictures began circulating online showing Starlink terminals arriving in the country. This comes at a critical time for the region, as many communication methods are currently offline and many internet systems have been disabled, destroyed or rendered unsafe due to Russian cyberattacks.
⚡️The moment of the Russian attack on a TV tower in Kyiv, captured by a witness.
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) March 1, 2022
Starlink is a satellite-based internet service, which offers a unique way to keep Ukraine connected during the conflict. Many nations across the world have already suspended long-range call charges to Ukraine as citizens try desperately to reach relatives trapped in the war zone. But with Starlink assets in the sky, many Ukrainians will soon have access to the internet in areas where the current infrastructure has either been destroyed or simply never existed before.
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 28, 2022
SpaceX has been working to rapidly expand the deployment of Starlink over recent years, and it saw action recently when it was deployed in Tonga in response to an underwater volcanic eruption in January which brought about widespread infrastructure outages. Musk has received widespread praise for his swift response for help from Ukraine, with many seeing it as an example of capitalism connecting the worlds of many which communism seeks to destroy.
The coming days will be critical for the survival of Ukraine and President Zelensky. One thing is clear, the international community and capitalism have their back in their dire time of need.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard.