SpaceX’s Starlink internet communications systems in Ukraine are experiencing increasing cyberattacks from Russia, the company’s founder Elon Musk said this week.

SpaceX has been trying to help Ukraine stay online amid the ongoing invasion, which began on Feb. 24. SpaceX, with the help of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has sent at least 5,000 Starlink terminals to the country, whose cities have been besieged by Russian forces since February. 

According to a Reuters report, which Musk also shared, a coalition of countries has said that Russia backed a cyberattack against satellite internet systems that ultimately pulled tens of thousands of modems offline shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

As for Starlink, USAID said in April that SpaceX’s terminals will provide Ukraine with “unlimited, unthrottled data connectivity,” even if fibre optic or cellular communication infrastructure connections are severed. 

Space reporter Joey Roulette of Reuters tweeted that most of the 5,000 terminals and associated Internet service — 3,667, to be exact — were donated directly by SpaceX at a cost of “roughly $10 million.” USAID purchased the remaining 1,333 terminals. 

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