Elon Musk says he’ll continue paying for the connectivity he gave to Ukraine gov

  • Elon Musk has been trying to get the Pentagon to pay for Starlink’s connectivity in Ukraine.
  • Despite connectivity costing Starlink $80 million to date, Musk has made an about turn and will continue paying the bill for the Ukrainian government.
  • The Pentagon is looking at alternatives to Starlink.

Back in February, Russia invaded Ukraine and connectivity was an issue. Given that Starlink doesn’t require physical cables, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, went online and asked Elon Musk for assistance.

The billionaire rose to the challenge and opened up access to Starlink in Ukraine days after the request was made. But last week Musk came to the realisation that this charitable endeavour was costing the firm a lot of money.

As the BBC reports, Musk approached the Pentagon in the US last month requesting it fund the programme rather than SpaceX. According to Musk, the firm could no longer fund the existing systems and constantly replace terminals destroyed in the conflict. The billionaire claims that keeping Starlink running is costing the company $20 million and to date it’s spent $80 million to keep the system active.

While we understand that this costs Starlink money, it is jarring to see Musk begging folks to buy his perfume that smells of burnt hair so that he can buy Twitter while all of this talk of money is going on.

At the weekend, however, Musk performed an about turn and said that even though “other companies” were getting billions of taxpayer dollars, Starlink would continue funding the Ukrainian government for free.

This seems like a brash decision especially since according to Engadget, the Pentagon was discussing payments with SpaceX. However, the Pentagon is now in discussion with other firms in order to give Ukraine the connectivity they need.

“There are certainly other SATCOM capabilities that exist out there. I’m not going to show our hand right now on exactly what those are, or who we’re talking to. But we do know that there are others – there’s not just SpaceX, there are other entities that we can certainly partner with when it comes to providing Ukraine what they need on the battlefield,” deputy Pentagon press secretary Sabrina Singh said in a press briefing on Friday.

This situation really should’ve been handled behind closed doors between the Pentagon and Starlink, but Musk never has been one to shy away from the limelight now has he.


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