Ukraine has asked Mask’s Starlink to help with the weapons

As Russia enters its fourth month of aggression, it will not only need more weapons to sustain the fight, but also provide billionaire Elon Musk with access to high-speed broadband internet, Ukraine’s information minister has said.

The founder of SpaceX has so far delivered more than 12,000 Starlink meals to Ukraine, Digital Transformation Minister Mikhail Fedorov said in an interview with the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday. These terminals are proving important for supporting infrastructure across Ukraine as it wages its own information war against Russia on social media.

Ukraine is receiving free aid from Musk, according to Fedorov, who added that there could be a different arrangement between Musk and the US Agency for International Development and European agencies that provided most of Starlink in Ukraine. He did not elaborate.

“All critical infrastructure uses Starlink, all the structures necessary for the functioning of the state,” Fedorov said. “We must continue to embrace them because they are one of the pillars of our struggle and resilience.”

Musk is gaining the ability to test its Starlink foods in new situations instead. For the CEO of Tesla Inc., Fedorov says, helping Ukraine is “a unique experience for him as well.” He will learn a lot about the technology he has created. ”

Fedorov says this is reflected in the food that Ukraine is getting, as each new batch that comes in is upgraded in some fashion.

The collaboration with Musk was sparked by the 31-year-old minister, who appealed to Musk on Twitter shortly after the attack began in late February. Since then, he said, his country, international donors and Mask have been in close contact.

The war is now dragging on Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region after Russia failed to quickly take over the capital – the last weeks and months have raised concerns among Ukrainian officials and international support, including economic and military aid, has been declining.

Addressing the WEF via video link on Monday, President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the world community to “work resolutely” in its support. “Ukraine has very little time,” he said. “I wish you would not lose this unity.”

Fedorov also voiced concern about whether donors, companies and individuals would remain focused and committed to sending financial aid to Ukraine. “Yeah, of course we think a lot,” he said of losing speed.

For now, though, the grant is still coming. In cryptocurrency alone, Ukraine has received more than $ 70 million in aid, he said, although he noted that the flow was somewhat erratic.

Even social media platforms have increased their focus on eliminating fake content.

Fedorov says Facebook’s owner has improved “direct communication” with the Meta platform and the company is working harder to remove suspicious content. There is no problem with other social media platforms in Ukraine, he said, adding that YouTube has deleted more than 9,000 misleading videos.

For a minister without a budget, as all funding now goes to the military, Fedorov praised the cyber company and the “IT army” of volunteers, which he said was constantly formed to fight Russian cyber-attacks.

Ukraine has also been able to wage a war in the cyber world, targeting Russian institutions such as banks and government databases, Federev said. There is also a lot of activity in the non-public sector, he said, but declined to elaborate on whether Ukraine is targeting Russian military resources for cyber attacks.

When the country’s IT sector is ravaged by war, Fedorov also estimates that 10% of his IT specialists may leave as soon as the general recruitment is over. “We must invest in education and reform,” he said.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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