A shipment of SpaceX Starlink satellite antennas, also known as terminals, arriving in Ukraine.
Fedorov Mykhailo on Twitter
WASHINGTON — SpaceX has sent “thousands” of Starlink satellite internet kits to Ukraine, company president Gwynne Shotwell told CNBC on Tuesday.
Elon Musk’s space company began sending Starlink satellite kits to Ukraine – which come with an antenna, mounting tripod and Wi-Fi router – shortly after the invasion of Russia. Ukrainians can use Starlink kits to connect directly to SpaceX’s network in orbit, as the company has launched around 2,000 satellites to date.
“I’m proud that we were able to provide the terminals to people in Ukraine. It’s been extremely helpful, I think, in making sure people are still communicating,” Shotwell said during a panel at the Satellite 2022 conference. in Washington, DC.
Musk had Starlink terminals sent to Ukraine after Ukrainian official Mykhailo Fedorov asked the CEO for help as attacks from Russia disrupted internet service in the country.
Shotwell, who spoke to CNBC after the panel, didn’t have a more accurate total on how many dishes the company shipped to Ukraine. She added that most of the funding for the Starlink kits came from private sources, but added that “France has helped” and “I think Poland is helping”.
“I don’t think the United States gave us money to give terminals to Ukraine,” Shotwell said.
The French and Polish embassies in the United States did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.