Elon Musk will finally continue to fund Starlink in Ukraine

Elon Musk will finally continue to fund Starlink in Ukraine


SpaceX boss Elon Musk announced on Saturday that he would continue to fund the Starlink internet network in Ukraine, backtracking on his calls the day before for the US government to take over. 

“Never mind…even if Starlink still loses money and other companies receive billions of taxpayer dollars, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government,” tweeted the richest man in the world.

On Friday, Elon Musk warned that SpaceX “(could) not continue to fund the existing system indefinitely and send thousands of additional terminals (…). This is not reasonable.”

SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon last month indicating that it could no longer afford the costs of service in Ukraine, CNN reported.

According to the television channel, the company was asking the US Department of Defense to take over funding for the use of Starlink by the Ukrainian government and its military, the cost of which was estimated at $400 million for the 12 months to come.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, SpaceX has delivered thousands of terminals there which provide an Internet connection through a constellation of satellites forming the Starlink network.

Some 25,000 terminals have been deployed in the country to date. Elon Musk assures that with the exception of a “small percentage”, all of the costs of deploying and maintaining Starlink terminals in Ukraine have been borne by SpaceX.

The Starlink network helped maintain internet coverage in areas of Ukraine hit by the Russian military. As of June, about 15% of existing internet infrastructure in Ukraine had been destroyed or damaged, according to authorities.

Starlink is also widely used by Ukrainian forces to calculate the trajectory of their missiles and geolocate their targets.