“We proceed to fund the Ukrainian authorities without cost”

A smartphone with the Starlink logo on the screen.

Sopa Pictures | flare | Getty Images

Elon Musk said in a tweet on Saturday that his company SpaceX will continue to fund Starlink satellite internet terminals for the Ukrainian government while it fights invading Russian forces.

“To hell with that,” the billionaire tweeted, “although Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions in taxpayer dollars, we’re just going to keep funding the Ukrainian government for free.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla, was sarcastic. In response to a tweet about the move, Musk said, “We should still be doing good deeds.” In response to another tweet that said Musk had already paid taxes that fund Ukraine’s defenses, he said, “Destiny loves irony.”

The tweets follow a statement by Musk on Friday, in which he said SpaceX could not fund Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely” after a report suggested his space company had asked the Pentagon to foot the bill.

Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a letter from SpaceX to the Pentagon, the company said that using Starlink in Ukraine could cost nearly $400 million over the next 12 months, according to a report by CNN. SpaceX has signed several contracts with the US government.

The Starlink internet terminals donated by SpaceX were crucial in keeping the Ukrainian military online during the war against Russia, even if the communications infrastructure is destroyed. Russia began invading Ukraine in February.

Musk was criticized by Ukrainian officials earlier this month when he released a Twitter poll assessing support for what he believed to be a likely outcome to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

He appeared to confirm that SpaceX was planning to leave Ukraine in some capacity on Friday, responding to a Twitter post that referred to Ukraine’s ambassador telling Musk to fuck off.

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

The SpaceX founder is also in the midst of a $44 billion bid to buy Twitter, which he was trying to walk out of. A judge ruled he has until October 28 to complete the acquisition if he hopes to avoid a trial.

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