Aiden Aslin, the recently-freed British PoW, has thanked the world’s richest man for his space-based broadband internet service.
As the conflict in Ukraine intensified, Elon Musk ordered his Starlink satellite service to be made available in the country.
Other methods of communication were quickly shut down by the invading Russians, but Starlink remained active.
And according to Aslin, it was what allowed him to call his family moments before he was captured and imprisoned by Russian forces.
Since being released in a prisoner swap brokered by Saudi Arabia, Aslin has opened up about the horrific things he was forced to endure while in Russian captivity.
He was beaten, stabbed and held in solitary confinement for five months after being captured in Mariupol on 12th April.
Now back in the UK, Aslin has started posting to social media to tell the world about his experience.
One of his posts includes a video he shot before being captured and he thanks Musk for allowing him to get it out.
Tagging the billionaire in the post, Aslin wrote: ‘I want to take a moment to thank you because of your starlink satellite I could inform the world & managed to call my family one last time.’
SpaceX, the private company owned by Musk, has been rolling out Starlink for the last few years.
While extremely costly to deploy, satellite technology can provide internet for people who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach.
It is also resistant to interference from occupying goverments which could make it an important tool during global conflict.
This week Musk also suggested Starlink will be switched on over Iran, as the country is gripped by protests following the death 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.
Access to social media and other content is tightly restricted in Iran and internet monitoring group NetBlocks reported ‘near-total’ disruption to internet connectivity in the capital of the Kurdish region on Monday, linking it to the protests.
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