Elon Musk say SpaceX cannot fund Ukraine’s Starlink internet indefinitely

Elon Musk say SpaceX cannot fund Ukraine's Starlink internet indefinitely

Elon Musk said on Friday that SpaceX cannot “indefinitely” fund the Starlink internet service in Ukraine and send it to several thousand more terminals after a report suggested that his rocket company had asked the Pentagon to pay for the donations.

Musk’s comment on the issue of support for the internet service in Ukraine comes after he angered many Ukrainians with a proposal to end Russia’s war in their country that included ceding some territory.

“SpaceX is not asking to recoup past expenses, but also cannot fund the existing system indefinitely and send several thousand more terminals that have data usage up to 100X greater than typical households. This is unreasonable,” said Musk on Twitter.

The billionaire boss of Tesla said Starlink was spending almost $20 million a month, he called it a “burn”, for maintaining satellite services in Ukraine. He said recently that SpaceX had spent about $80 million to enable and support Starlink in Ukraine.

According to International media reported on Thursday that SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon last month saying that it could not continue to fund the Starlink service in Ukraine and it may have to stop funding it unless the US military helps with tens of millions of dollars a month.

SpaceX did not reply to a request for comment.

Musk activated Starlink in Ukraine in late February after Internet services were disrupted because of Russia’s invasion. SpaceX has given it thousands of terminals since then.

Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, said this week that Starlink services helped restore energy and communications infrastructure in critical areas after more than 100 Russian cruise missile attacks.

Russia calls its intervention in Ukraine a “special military operation” and says that it does not target civilians.

Musk drew widespread criticism from Ukrainians over his peace plan in which he proposed that Ukraine permanently cede the Crimea region to Russia, that new referendums be held under UN auspices to determine the fate of the Russian-controlled territory, and that Ukraine agree to neutrality.

Ukraine says it will never agree to cede land taken by force, and lawful referenda cannot be held in the occupied territory where many people have been killed or driven out.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was among those who criticized Musk’s proposal.

Ukraine’s outgoing ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, also condemned the proposal in blunt terms, saying on Twitter: “F* off is my very diplomatic response to you @elonmusk.”

Musk, responding to a post referring to the fate of the Starlink service and the ambassador’s remarks, said:

“We are just following his recommendation.”


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