‘To hell with it’: Musk decides to continue funding Starlink for Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Elon Musk announced on Saturday that his company would continue to pay for Starlink satellite internet in war-torn Ukraine, a day after he suggested he could not keep funding the project.

“Damn it,” the world’s richest man wrote on Twitter. “Even if Starlink continues to lose money and other companies receive billions of taxpayer dollars, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.”

Musk had said on Friday that SpaceX would not be able to pay Starlink in Ukraine indefinitely.

And the US military confirmed it was communicating with the billionaire’s company about funding for the key network.

The talks come as Musk has been embroiled in public rows with Ukrainian leaders who have been angered by his controversial proposals to de-escalate the conflict, which included recognizing Russian sovereignty over Crimea.

Starlink, a constellation of more than 3,000 small satellites in low Earth orbit, has been vital to Ukraine’s communications as it battles the Russian invasion.

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 25, 2022 shows an antenna of the Starlink satellite broadband system donated by US tech billionaire Elon Musk in Izyum, Kharkiv region, amid the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP)

SpaceX has donated some 25,000 ground terminals to Ukraine, according to an updated figure given by Musk last week.

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