In 2022, amidst the Russian invasion, Ukraine requested American aerospace company SpaceX to activate their Starlink satellite internet service in the country to replace internet and communication networks degraded or destroyed during the war. Starlink has since been used by Ukrainian civilians, government and military. The satellite service has served for humanitarian purposes, as well as defense and attacks on Russian positions.
SpaceX provided and funded Starlink services to Ukraine largely on their own in the beginning. Starlink expenses for Ukraine are currently covered by the US Department of Defense through a contract with SpaceX.
SpaceX executives have disapproved the use of Starlink for offensive warfare and declined to extend Starlink availability outside of the country's borders, including in Russian-occupied territories like Crimea. This stance was criticized by Ukraine as it prevented them from carrying out military operations in those areas.
In Russia, the use of Starlink to attack Russian targets has been criticized by government officials, while the country's military has repeatedly tried to disrupt Starlink services in Ukraine.