Elon Musk says that SpaceX will continue to finance Starlink Internet in Ukraine Ukraine

Elon Musk announced on Saturday that his company would continue to pay for Starlink satellite internet in Ukraine, a day after he suggested he could not continue to fund the project, which he said was losing about $20 million a month.

The world’s richest man wrote on Twitter: “To hell with it.” “While Starlink is still losing money and other companies are taking billions of taxpayer dollars, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.”

Musk said on Friday that he believed it was unfair that SpaceX was not subsidized by the US military to operate Starlink in Ukraine, even as the company’s rivals, such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, receive “billions” to provide resources.

After CNN published memos sent to the Pentagon by SpaceX, the U.S. military confirmed it had contacted the billionaire’s company about financing a satellite Internet network. In a letter seen by the network, SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote: “We are no longer able to donate terminals to Ukraine or fund existing terminals indefinitely.”

The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 15, 2022


Even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions from taxpayers, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 15, 2022

Musk’s tweets came after a growing public spat with Ukrainian leaders angered by the country’s proposals to make peace by recognizing Russian sovereignty over Crimea, accepting a series of referendums authorizing Russian annexation of the territory, and pledging “neutrality” in Ukraine. will come.

“I’m doing my best to de-escalate this situation and I’m clearly failing,” Musk said in response to a sympathetic tweet from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who is currently fighting extradition to the US on money laundering and fraud charges. Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, told Musk in response to his offers to capitulate: “Fuck, I have a very diplomatic answer to you… The only result is that now no Ukrainians will buy your Tesla crap. So good luck to you.”

While Musk claimed the subsidy request was in response to Melnyk’s tweet that “we’re just following his advice 🤷‍♂️,” the letters to the Pentagon were sent in September, long before he intervened in the conflict in October. .

Consisting of more than 3,000 small satellites in low-Earth orbit, Starlink was vital to Ukraine’s communications as it fought against Russian aggression.

Ukraine now has about 25,000 ground terminals, according to an updated figure provided by Musk last week. But some complain that those donated by SpaceX represent a small fraction of the Starlink terminals in use in the country, most of which are bought and paid for at market prices.

“I admire the actions of SpaceX to launch the Starlink service in Ukraine. This is a real game-changer for the Ukrainian army in open areas with no mobile communications and long distances are not suitable for radios, given the rapidly changing situation on the battlefield,” writes Dimko Jluktenko, founder of Ukrainian military charity Dzyga’s Paw. “However, I have not seen ANY Starlinks purchased by governments or SpaceX. All the Starlinks I’ve seen/used were either bought by volunteers like me or soldiers invested their own money. The subscription fee is also paid from one’s own pocket.

Melania Podoliak, a Ukrainian activist, added that “thousands” of Ukrainians pay Musk’s company every month, sharing a screenshot of her bank account with transfers of more than £6,000 to Starlink. “So the question is: Did you really lose more money than you made?”

This article was amended on 17 October 2022. An earlier version reported that Elon Musk said that SpaceX had donated approximately 25,000 Starlink ground terminals to Ukraine; in fact, he simply said that there are a number of such terminals in the country.

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