Elon Musk’s SpaceX says it can no longer fund Ukraine’s Starlink internet Ukraine

Elon Musk’s SpaceX reportedly said it could not continue to donate satellite internet to Ukraine and asked the U.S. government to cover the cost because of a breakdown in ties between the billionaire and Kyiv.

“We are unable to donate further terminals to Ukraine or fund existing terminals indefinitely,” SpaceX’s head of government sales wrote in a letter seen by CNN.

In a separate letter reported by CNN, an outside consultant working for the company told the Pentagon: “SpaceX is facing a very difficult decision here. I don’t think they have the capacity to provide any additional terminals or services.”

Musk appeared to confirm the report on Friday morning, wrote on twitter “We didn’t leak any information about our competitors in space launch and communications, Lockheed and Boeing, who received over $60B [from the US Department of Defence]”.

in another post hey tweet: “In addition to terminals, we must create, launch, maintain and replenish satellites and ground stations, and pay telcos that access the Internet through gateways. We must also defend against increasingly difficult cyberattacks and jamming. Burn approaching monthly $20 million.”

But the funding request is in a high profile intervention Musk suggested that Ukraine should end the war by surrendering territory to Russia and pledging to remain “neutral.” His tweet drew a backlash from the Ukrainian government, which had previously praised Musk for supplying the Starlink system.

“Go away is my very diplomatic reply to you,” tweet Andrij Melnyk, Ukrainian ambassador to Germany. “The only result is that no Ukrainian will buy your Tesla junk right now. Good luck.”

SpaceX CEO responds to suggestion that Musk threatens to quit Starlink over Melnick’s remarks tweeted this morning “We just followed his advice 🤷‍♂️”.

Mikhailo Podoljak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, said on Friday that Kyiv would find a solution to keep Starlink working. “Let’s be honest. Like it or not, @elonmusk helped us through the most critical moments of war,” Podoljak tweeted. “Businesses have the right to develop their own strategies. Ukraine will find a solution to keep £Starlink working. We expect the company to provide a stable connection until negotiations are concluded.”

Problems with Starlink coverage have been reported by the Ukrainian military in recent days, following Musk’s attempts at the peace process, but before the latest reports of a funding gap. Last week, the Financial Times reported that there was a “catastrophic” communications outage when Ukrainian troops advanced into formerly Russian-occupied territory in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

The terminals, which connect to a fleet of low-Earth-orbiting microsatellites launched by SpaceX to provide high-speed internet access in much of the world, have proven crucial to Ukraine’s war effort since being donated by the company earlier this year Important. In addition to enabling rapid and secure communications between ground forces and headquarters, these satellites help the military operate drones that have proven to play a key role in reshaping the rules of the battlefield.

On Tuesday, Musk denied reports that he spoke directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Elon Musk told me he had spoken directly to Putin and the Kremlin about Ukraine. He also told me what the Kremlin’s red line was,” said Ian Bremer, president of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy.

Musk replied on Twitter: “No one should trust Bremer.”

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