A smartphone with the Starlink logo displayed on the screen.
Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images
Elon Musk said in a tweet Saturday that his company SpaceX would continue to fund Starlink satellite internet terminals for the Ukrainian government as it battles invading Russian forces.
“The hell with it,” the billionaire tweeted, “even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”
It was not immediately clear whether Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla, was being sarcastic. In response to a tweet about the move, Musk said, “we should still do good deeds.” Responding to another tweet saying that Musk had already paid taxes that are funding Ukraine’s defense, he said, “Fate loves irony.”
The tweets follow a statement from Musk on Friday in which he said that SpaceX cannot continue fund Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely,” after a report suggested his space company had asked the Pentagon to cover the costs.
Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a letter from SpaceX to the Pentagon, the company said that the use of Starlink in Ukraine could cost close to $400 million over the next 12 months, according to a report by CNN. SpaceX has signed several contracts with the U.S. government.
SpaceX’s donated Starlink internet terminals have been crucial in keeping Ukraine’s military online during the war against Russia, even as communication infrastructure gets destroyed. Russia began its invasion of Ukraine in February.
Musk drew criticism from Ukrainian officials earlier this month when he posted a Twitter poll gauging support for what he claimed was a likely outcome of the Russia-Ukraine war.
He appeared to confirm that SpaceX was planning to leave Ukraine in some capacity Friday, replying to a Twitter post that referenced the Ukrainian ambassador telling Musk to “f— off.”
“We’re just following his recommendation,” Musk said.
The SpaceX founder is also in the middle of a $44 billion bid to buy Twitter, which he had tried to get out of. A judge ruled that he has until Oct. 28 to close the acquisition if he hopes to avoid a trial.
Image and article originally from www.cnbc.com. Read the original article here.