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American billionaire Elon Musk Tweeted SpaceX on Saturday reversed course to continue funding Starlink internet service in war-torn Ukraine after SpaceX asked the US military to pick up the tab.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellite Internet services were a key source of communications for that country’s military during the war with Russia, but CNN exclusively reported earlier This week, SpaceX warned the Pentagon that it could stop funding the service in Ukraine unless the US military pays tens of millions of dollars a month, according to documents obtained by CNN.
The letter also demanded that the government of Ukraine and the Pentagon take over funding for Starlink’s military use, which SpaceX said would cost more than $120 million for the rest of the year and $400 million over the next 12 months. The report revealed tweets from both social media users protect and criticized the move.
A tweet from Musk’s verified account posted on Saturday read, “The hell out of this … even if Starlink still loses money and other companies get billions from taxpayers, we will fund the Ukrainian government for free.”
Since they first began arriving in Ukraine last spring, Musk’s SpaceX-made Starlink satellite Internet terminals have allowed Ukraine’s military to fight and stay connected even as cellular phone and Internet networks have been destroyed in the war with Russia.
A Pentagon spokeswoman said Friday that it was in contact with SpaceX, but did not say whether it was related to funding for the Starlink satellite communications product.
Saturday was a response to a follower who responded to Musk Tweet“No good deed goes unpunished,” Musk said, “and yet we must do more good deeds.”
On Friday Musk doubled down on SpaceX’s request to the Pentagon in a series of tweets.
“SpaceX is not asking for past costs to be recouped, but cannot fund an existing system indefinitely *and* send several thousand terminals that have data usage 100 times that of typical households. It’s unfair,” read one Mail From Musk’s verified account.
He also said he was following the advice of a Ukrainian diplomat who responded to Musk’s Ukraine peace plan earlier this month in asking the Pentagon to pick up the bill for Starling in Ukraine. F*** off.”
Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andrij Melnyk, He responded earlier this month Musk told Russia’s Ukraine war peace plan: “F*** off you @elonmusk.”
SpaceX’s suggestion to stop funding Starling also comes amid growing concerns in Ukraine about Musk’s loyalty. Musk recently tweeted a controversial peace plan that would see Ukraine cede Crimea and control over the eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
After Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy raised the question of who Musk stands with, he replied He is “still very supportive[s] Ukraine” but fears “massive expansion”.
A Ukrainian official, Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, extended an olive branch. Tweet “Let’s be honest. Like it or not, @elonmusk helped us survive some of the most critical moments of the war,” he posted on Friday.
“Business is entitled to its own strategies,” Podolyak’s tweet read. “(We) will find a solution to keep #Starlink operational. We expect the company to provide stable connectivity until negotiations are concluded.