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‘The hell with it’: Musk decides to keep funding Starlink for Ukraine

SpaceX CEO reverses course after saying on Friday he could not continue funding program; he has become embroiled in public spat with Kyiv over suggestion to compromise with Russia

Tesla CEO Elon Musk smiles as he addresses guests at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 (ONS) meeting in Stavanger, Norway, on August 29, 2022. (Carina Johansen/NTB/AFP)
Tesla CEO Elon Musk smiles as he addresses guests at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 (ONS) meeting in Stavanger, Norway, on August 29, 2022. (Carina Johansen/NTB/AFP)

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

“The hell with it,” the world’s richest man wrote on Twitter. “Even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”

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

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

The discussions come as Musk has been embroiled in public spats with Ukrainian leaders who were angered by his controversial proposals for de-escalating the conflict, which included acknowledging 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 fights against Russia’s invasion.

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