The DW article Ukraine is using Elon Musk's Starlink for drone strikes about the use of Starlink to provide internet in Ukraine is suggesting that it is playing a role in, e.g., the way president Zelenskyi is able to make live calls to so many nation's governments, parliaments or the UN among other things. It has also become a target for the Russian military. Would Ukraine be able to communicate globally without the use of Starlink? And I am not even mentioning its supposed role in drone strikes.

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    This question is a bit wishy-washy. When does a tool's role become "significant"? Can we focus on one of the less opinion-based claims? (e.g. Is it one of the most popular app downloads? Is Russia using jammers? Does Zelensky use it for speeches? etc.)
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 0:18
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    Surely the question title should say "in Ukranian defense" not "in Russian invasion"? The title suggests it is helping the Russians. Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 8:31
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    What of it? Why is it notable? You might as well ask if any available technology can be exploited, for example "Does GPS (intended for civilian use) play a role?" There seems to be an argument fallacy at work here. Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 11:09
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    @toddddos the phrasing of the title, as said before, muddies the intent of the question. If someone asked whether X “plays a role in the invasion of Ukraine” the automatic association is between X and the invading party, not the defense. “Does Starlink play a significant role in the defense of Ukraine from the Russian invasion” would be more naturally read as what it seems your question actually is. Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 17:32
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    Way too early to tell. Once the war is over civilians may get the data and assess the effect. Currently most is tainted by war propaganda.
    – pinegulf
    Commented Apr 16, 2022 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


Mykhailo Fedorov (Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine) made the initial public appeal to Elon Musk about Starlink:

@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand. https://twitter.com/FedorovMykhailo/status/1497543633293266944

He had since tweeted multiple times on topic. His tweets cover Starlink use in cases where normal communication infrastructure is unavailable or destroyed.

As of early May he shared the number of 150K active daily users:

Rough data on Starlink's usage: around 150K active users per day. This is crucial support for Ukraine's infrastructure and restoring the destroyed territories. Ukraine will stay connected no matter what. https://twitter.com/FedorovMykhailo/status/1521115986711175168

That isn't huge on the scale of Ukraine's ~41 millions (under normal circumstances) population, but probably significant if strategically applied at war time.

The military applications are occasionally reported by news as generally happening, but with no meaningful details (as it should be during war).

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