Technology

Musk denies backing out of helping Ukraine with Starlink for fear of Putin’s retaliation

Starlink’s satellite Internet suffered several widespread blackouts in Ukraine due to the war with Russia. According to Ukrainian officials, communication was restored Ukrainian territory freed from Russian occupation.

Some officials in the country reported their suspicions that the problem with Starlink might be the result. Geographical restrictions imposed by SpaceX And not because of the conflict with Russia. “If he did this, it would be unacceptable, because it means that he took a direct part in the war, harming our capabilities,” said Andrey Zagorodnyuk, former Ukrainian defense minister.



satellite donation in war

Elon Musk donated some 20,000 Starlink satellite units to Ukraine earlier this year after Russian incursions into the region. The operation cost SpaceX “$80 million” and the tycoon expected that figure to exceed $100 million before 2023.

However, documents from last month that CNN had access to maintains that the aerospace company’s contribution may be over. News outlet reports SpaceX will end charity service in Ukraine If the Pentagon does not agree to take overBring in tens of millions of dollars a month.

“We are not in a position to continue donating terminals to Ukraine or to fund existing terminals indefinitely,” the company’s official sales director wrote to the US military. In the letter, he calculated that SpaceX’s service expenditures in the country would cost more than $120 million during the rest of the year and that the amount could be About 400 million over the next 12 months.


NASA has contracted the services of SpaceX for five more trips to the ISS this week.

Rumors of fear that Russia will retaliate

According to a person CNN listed as “acquainted” with the matter, “Ukraine is aware that its current government and wartime efforts are entirely dependent on Starlink.” The source confirms that it is up to Elon Musk to decide whether or not to keep Starlink running in the field: “He hasn’t been chosen, no one has decided to give him that power. He has this technology.” And that’s because of the company he created.”

Such is the importance of SpaceX’s satellite Internet that Musk confirmed that the US Defense Ministry had asked him to activate it in Crimea, a region invaded and occupied by Russia in 2014. Ian Bremer, a political analyst at the Eurasia Group, says that Musk spoke to Putin and he He was “ready to negotiate”.

In that conversation, Bremer reported that Putin had reportedly threatened to use nuclear weapons if Ukraine tried to annex Crimea. However, Musk has denied that the meeting took place: “I have spoken with Putin. only once and it was about 18 months ago, The topic was space.

Faced with statements from Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov about the importance of Starlink, Musk responded positively. “Delighted to support Ukraine,” he tweeted with a graphic Starlink data usage growth In area.

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