“We will simply continue to finance the government of Ukraine for free”
Smartphone with Starlink logo on the screen.
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Elon Musk said in a tweet Saturday that his company SpaceX will continue to fund Starlink satellite Internet terminals for the Ukrainian government, which is fighting invading Russian troops.
“To hell with it,” the billionaire tweeted, “even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of taxpayer dollars, we will just continue to fund the government of Ukraine for free.”
It was not immediately clear whether Musk, who is also the CEO, would Tesla, was sarcastic. In response to a tweet about the move, Musk said, “We still have to do good deeds.” Replying to another tweet saying that Musk has already paid taxes that finance the defense of Ukraine, he said“Fate loves irony.”
The tweets followed a statement by Musk on Friday in which he said SpaceX could not continue funding Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely” after a report said his space company had asked the Pentagon to cover the costs.
Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a SpaceX letter to the Pentagon, the company said using Starlink in Ukraine could cost around $400 million over the next 12 months. according to CNN report. SpaceX has signed several contracts with the US government.
Donated by SpaceX, Starlink internet terminals have played a critical role in keeping the Ukrainian military online during the war against Russia, even as the communications infrastructure is collapsing. Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in February.
Earlier this month, Musk came under fire from Ukrainian officials when he posted a poll on Twitter assessing support for what he said was the likely outcome of the Russia-Ukraine war.
He appears to have confirmed that SpaceX planned to leave Ukraine to varying degrees on Friday, responding to a tweet that mentions that the Ukrainian ambassador told Musk to “fuck off.”
“We’re just following his advice” Musk said.
The SpaceX founder is also in the process of a $44 billion offer to buy Twitter, which he tried to refuse. The judge ruled that he has until October 28 to close the deal if he hopes to avoid litigation.