SpaceX CEO Elon Musk backtracked on his decision to stop funding the Starlink terminals shipped to Ukraine. say on Twitter that the company will continue to provide “free” satellite Internet services to the government, even if it means losing money for the company.
“The hell with it,” Musk wrote on Twitter. “While Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of taxpayers, we continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.”
On Friday, a report from CNN revealed that SpaceX has asked the government whether it can pay for additional terminals sent to Ukraine, as well as existing internet services. These costs could reach approximately $124 million by the end of 2022 and nearly $380 million over the next 12 months. Musk added later on Twitter that Starlink cannot fund services in Ukraine “indefinitely”, in another tweet that Starlink loses about $20 million a month to maintain its services.
Musk faced criticism after polling Twitter users whether Ukraine should achieve “peace” with Russia by surrendering Crimea and other annexed regions. This prompted a response from the Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, who said “Fuck off is my very diplomatic answer.” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted later that Musk is “one of the world’s top private donors supporting Ukraine,” and that “Starlink is an essential part of our critical infrastructure.”