Tesla chief Elon Musk says he will continue to fund Starlink – a satellite system that provides internet and communications infrastructure – to Ukraine, despite casting doubt on its long-term availability on Friday.
Yesterday (October 14), it was revealed that SpaceX's director of sales had written in a letter: “We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time."
This prompted fears that the infrastructure which provides a lifeline for Ukrainians cut off from the internet.
READ MORE: Elon Musk threatens to axe Ukraine's Starlink after ambassador tells him to 'f*** off'
The world's richest man appeared to confirm that Starlink would eventually have to be withdrawn from the wartorn country, saying: “In addition to terminals, we have to create, launch, maintain & replenish satellites & ground stations & pay telcos for access to Internet via gateways. We’ve also had to defend against cyber-attacks & jamming, which are getting harder. Burn is approaching $20M/month.”
However, on Saturday October 15, he tweeted:
"The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free"
Musk has attempted to position himself as political player in the war in Ukraine, drawing the ire of Ukrainian officials earlier this month when he said Ukraine should consider ceeding Crimea to Russia after conducting a twitter poll on what the correct response to Putin should be.
Ukrainian President Zelensky poured scorn on the idea, parodying the controversial tweet by asking users which version of Musk they like more: the one who supports Ukraine, or the one who supports Russia.
Meanwhile, Musk rubbished recent reports that he personally spoke to Vladimir Putin about the war in a phone call.
"I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space," Musk wrote in a tweet.
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