Elon Musk reverses course, says SpaceX will continue to fund Ukraine’s Starlink service for free

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American billionaire Elon Musk he tweeted On Saturday, SpaceX will continue to fund Starlink internet service in war-torn Ukraine, apparently reversing course after SpaceX asked the US military to pick up the tab.

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service has been a vital source of communications for the country’s military during the war with Russia, but CNN exclusively reported this week that SpaceX has warned the Pentagon it may stop funding the service in Ukraine unless the US military intervenes. ten million dollars per month, according to documents obtained by CNN.

The letter also called for the Pentagon to assume funding for the Ukrainian government and military use of Starlink, which SpaceX says would cost more than $120 million a year and about $400 million over the next 12 months. The report both generated a flurry of tweets from social media users defending and criticizing the movement.

A tweet from Musk’s verified account posted on Saturday said: “Hell…even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of taxpayer dollars, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.”

Since they began arriving in Ukraine last spring, Starlink satellite internet terminals made by Musk’s SpaceX have allowed Ukraine’s military to fight and stay connected despite the destruction of cellphone and internet networks during the war with Russia.

A Pentagon spokesman said Friday it had been in communication with SpaceX, but did not say whether there is more funding for the Starlink satellite communications product.

Musk responded to a follower in response on Saturday the tweet“No good deed goes unpunished,” Musk said, “However, we should do good deeds.”

Musk on Friday doubled down on SpaceX’s request to the Pentagon in a series of tweets.

“SpaceX is not asking for past expenses, but cannot fund the existing system indefinitely *and* ship several thousand more terminals with data usage 100 times that of typical households. This is unreasonable,” read one the message From Musk’s verified account.

He also said that in asking the Pentagon to pick up the bill for Starlink in Ukraine, he was following the advice of a Ukrainian diplomat who responded to Musk’s Ukraine peace plan earlier this month before sending the letter to the Pentagon: “Bullshit.”

Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, responded earlier this month to Musk’s announced peace plan for Russia’s war in Ukraine: “F*** off my very diplomatic response @elonmusk.”

The suggestion that SpaceX would stop funding Starlink also came amid growing concerns over Musk’s loyalty in Ukraine. Musk recently tweeted a controversial peace plan that would see Ukraine relinquish control of Crimea and the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.

After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky raised the question of whose side Musk is on, he himself he answered ago “still a lot of support[s] Ukraine” but fears a “massive escalation”.

A Ukrainian official, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelensky, appeared to extend an olive branch. the tweet he posted on Friday, “Let’s be honest. Like it or not, @elonmusk helped us survive the most critical moments of the war.”

“The company is entitled to its own strategies,” Podolyak’s tweet read. “(We) will find a solution to keep #Starlink working. We hope the company will provide a stable connection until negotiations are concluded.”