SpaceX, a company owned by Elon Muskhas informed the Pentagon that it has no intention of continuing to bear the costs of maintaining the operational Starlink satellite internet in Ukraine. In accordance with ‘CNN‘, which has obtained internal documents from the firm and shares the news exclusively, the technology company will not continue to offer support “unless the US Army contributes tens of millions of dollars per month.”
“We are not in a position to continue donating terminals to Ukraine, or to finance existing terminals for an indefinite period of time,” the company’s sales director reportedly stated in a letter sent to the Pentagon last September.
star link It has been a differential element in the war in Ukraine since the start of the conflict last February. Thanks to its use, which has not stopped increasing, the country has been able to maintain the Internet connection despite the damage caused to its infrastructure by the Russian army. It has also been capital for the proper conduct of military operations. According to information from the ‘Financial Times‘, occasional drops in service have caused serious problems for Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield.
Last Tuesday, October 12, the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mikhailo Fedorov, stated that Starlink was key to recovering the Internet connection after 100 Russian missiles hit its energy and communications infrastructure. “It continues to be an essential part of our critical infrastructure,” Fedorov noted, referring to Musk’s ingenuity.
Over 100 cruise missiles attacked 🇺🇦 energy and communications infrastructure. But with Starlink we quickly restored the connection in critical areas. Starlink continues to be an essential part of critical infrastructure.
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) October 12, 2022
Due to the great importance that Musk’s equipment has acquired, the army of the invaded country has continued to request new units in recent months. Only last July, the request, made by a Ukrainian army officer to the company, was for 8,000 more pieces of equipment.
“SpaceX faces terribly difficult decisions here. I don’t think they have the financial capacity to provide additional terminals or services as requested by General Zaluzhniy,” a SpaceX consultant said.
According to documents obtained by ‘CNN’, last month the company sent a letter to the Pentagon saying that “it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service as it has done.” Specifically, the US Army was asked to take over funds for the Ukrainian government and military use of Starlink.
According to estimates, keeping SpaceX operational in Ukraine will cost more than $120 million over the rest of the year and could cost close to $400 million over the next 12 months.
To date, the company has made available to the Zelensky-ruled state more than 20,000 Starlink satellite units. According to Musk, the logistical support to Ukraine has cost his company, the same one with which he aspires to conquer Mars in the future, 80 million dollars, he hopes it will exceed 100 million by the end of 2022.
Around Twitter… and Ukraine
The economic situation of Elon Musk is not the same as at the beginning of the year. the tycoon must reach an agreement with Twitter for the payment of the 44,000 million dollars agreed to take control of the social network last April. Otherwise, the two parties will go to trial next November. Throughout 2022, the owner of other companies, such as Tesla, has made moves to cut the number of employees in staff due to the slowdown in the economy.
On the other hand, the relationship between the tycoon and the Ukrainian government is not going through its best moment. The good words about the tycoon by President Zelensky and a good part of his government have changed due to the recent survey shared by the entrepreneur on his Twitter account.
In it, Musk stated, among other things, that in order to achieve peace between Russia and Ukraine, it will be necessary for the invaded country and the West to make important concessions. Among them, the recognition of the independence of Crimea, a territory in conflict between the two states since 2014.
“Those who propose that Ukraine give up its people and lands must stop using the word ‘peace’ as a euphemism for ‘allowing the Russians to kill and rape thousands more innocent Ukrainians and take more land for themselves,'” said the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba through a tweet.
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Elon Musk no longer wants to pay for the satellite network that keeps Ukraine connected