Elon Musk balks at funding Ukraine’s Starlink satellites, as envoy tells him to ‘fuck off’

Elon Musk mentioned on Friday he is “simply following the advice” of a Ukrainian diplomat who informed the SpaceX founder to “fuck off,” by searching for to dump duty for funding his Starlink web terminals in Ukraine.

Musk’s trolling got here after Ukraine’s former Ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk and the nation’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reacted with hostility to Musk final week tweeting a collection of Kremlin speaking factors, which he offered as a plan for peace in Russia’s warfare on Ukraine. This raised concerns in Kyiv and amongst its allies as as to whether Musk was nonetheless on Ukraine’s facet within the warfare.

Musk’s tweet got here in response to a CNN report that SpaceX had warned in a letter, dated September 8 and despatched to the U.S. Division of Protection, that it could possibly not afford to supply its Starlink terminals, that are essential for Ukraine’s army communication.

“We aren’t ready to additional donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the prevailing terminals for an indefinite time period,” SpaceX mentioned within the letter, which was signed by the corporate’s director of presidency gross sales, including that the Pentagon ought to take over the funding.

The Starlink satellite tv for pc communication system has been crucial not just for Ukraine’s army communication, but additionally for the federal government to take care of contact with commanders, for Zelenskyy to conduct interviews with journalists, and for civilian communications, connecting family members by way of the encrypted satellites.

Funding the programs would price greater than $120 million for the remainder of the yr and the worth tag may attain nearly $400 million for the following 12 months, in response to SpaceX.

Ukraine has acquired round 20,000 Starlink satellite tv for pc items. Musk said last week that the “operation has price SpaceX $80 million and can exceed $100 million by the top of the yr.”

Musk was initially lauded for offering the Starlink terminals to Ukraine, however in response to the SpaceX letter, the overwhelming majority had been partially or totally funded by different events, together with the U.S. authorities, the U.Ok. and Poland. Poland is the biggest single contributor and has paid for nearly 9,000 terminals, which price $1,500 and $2,500 for the 2 fashions despatched to Ukraine, in response to the paperwork.

These governments additionally paid for a 3rd of the web connectivity whereas SpaceX funded the remaining, making up the dearer a part of the invoice, in response to SpaceX.

Among the many paperwork seen by CNN can also be a request from Ukrainian Basic Valeriy Zaluzhnyi to SpaceX for nearly 8,000 extra Starlink terminals. SpaceX reportedly responded by recommending the request be despatched to the U.S. Division of Protection.

The spat comes shortly after latest studies of Starlink outages, which have disrupted essential Ukrainian army communication on the entrance traces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *