Amid the Starlink dispute, Elon Musk tweeted that SpaceX will “keep funding Ukraine govt for free”

Photo by Daniel Oberhaus

In a tweet sent on Saturday, Elon Musk said that his company SpaceX would keep funding the Starlink satellite internet terminals for the Ukrainian government as it fights Russian invaders.

“The hell with it,” Elon Musk tweeted, “even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”

Whether Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla, was being ironic wasn’t immediately apparent. Musk responded to a tweet regarding the decision by saying, “We should still do nice deeds.” He replied, “Fate likes irony,” to another tweet that claimed Musk had previously paid taxes that support Ukraine’s defense.

The comments come after Musk announced in a statement on Friday that SpaceX cannot continue funding Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely,” following a story that suggested his space company had requested funding from the Pentagon.

Requests for comment from Musk did not immediately receive a response.

According to a CNN report, SpaceX warned the Pentagon in a letter that using Starlink in Ukraine may cost up to $400 million over the following year. With the American government, SpaceX has entered into several agreements.

Although communication infrastructure is being destroyed, SpaceX’s supplied Starlink internet terminals have been essential in keeping Ukraine’s soldiers online throughout the conflict with Russia. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia started in February.

When Musk conducted a Twitter poll earlier this month to gauge support for what he claimed was a possible outcome of the Russia-Ukraine war, he received criticism from Ukrainian officials.

By responding to a tweet mentioning the Ukrainian ambassador asking Musk to “f—- off,” he seemed to confirm that SpaceX planned to depart Ukraine in some way on Friday.

“We’re just following his recommendation,” Musk said.

The creator of SpaceX is also in the middle of an unsuccessful $44 billion offer to acquire Twitter. He has until October 28 to complete the acquisition, according to a judge’s ruling, if he wants to prevent a trial.

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