Elon Musk withdraws from request for help funding Starlink in Ukraine

Elon Musk has said he will continue to fund Starlink satellites in Ukraine after a recent disagreement with the US Department of Defense over the cost of their deployment.

The change comes a day after Musk threatened to cut off financial support for SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine, claiming that the operation had cost his company $80 million to date. The Pentagon has responded by confirming that it is in talks with SpaceXwhile adding that the US is considering other options.

“Damn it,” Musk tweeted Saturday. “Even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are receiving billions of dollars in taxes, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.”

He later tweeted to a follower: “We should still do good deeds, though.”

Starlink was an important tool in the Ukraine war

The withdrawal of the Starlink terminals will render Ukraine an important means of communication in the fight against Russian aggression. As well as helping Ukrainian forces on the ground, the terminals have supported infrastructure across the country.

Ukraine has 20,000 Starlink terminals, which are evenly supplied by USAID, Poland, the European Union and private companies, according to an October 5 report from the state news agency Ukrinform citing data of the Department of Digitization.

According to Janusz Cieszynski, the government official in charge of cybersecurity, Poland purchased 11,700 Starlink terminals, of which 5,000 were acquired by the state PKN Orlen SA.

Earlier, Musk had stated that the money SpaceX is asking to give Ukraine a “major battlefield advantage” is less than the cost of a new GPS satellite.

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