Elon Musk asks the Pentagon to pay for Starlink’s services in Ukraine

American billionaire Elon Musk has said that he will not continue indefinitely to provide part of the cost of Starlink’s satellite links in Ukraine.

US billionaire Elon Musk’s charity to Ukraine may well have come to an end. SpaceX, its aerospace and satellite company, threatened in a letter to the Pentagon that it would cut off the Ukrainian military’s access to its satellite network if it did not pay the high network usage fees. throughput – tens of millions of dollars per month – reveals the CNN news channel.

The company has delivered some 25,000 Starlink receivers to Ukraine, 85% of which was financed in whole or in part by governments, American and Polish in particular, according to documents obtained by the American channel. They also paid around 30% of the connectivity fees, which can go up to $4,500 per month for the most advanced services.

“We are not in a position to offer terminals to Ukraine, or finance existing terminals for an indefinite period.”

Despite this public funding, the operation has so far reportedly cost SpaceX some $80 millionand the bill would exceed 100 million dollars by the end of the year, according to Elon Musk.

“We are not in a position to offer terminals to Ukraine, or fund existing terminals indefinitely,” SpaceX’s director of government sales said in the September letter to the Pentagon.

According to SpaceX, the cost of using Starlink by the Ukrainian government and military would amount to $400 million for the next twelve months.

Signal breaks

SpaceX’s satellite communication terminals are one of the keys to the military successes of the Ukrainian army against the Russian invader. But on the ground, sources reported sudden outages in the telecommunications system, affecting the entire frontline and hampering the counter-offensive.

The importance of this technology raises questions about the role that one man, Elon Musk, can play in waging this war. Questions fueled by the latter’s public positions: the billionaire notably defended on Twitter the idea of ​​a peace plan between Ukraine and Russia based, in particular, on the abandonment of Crimea to Russia and Ukraine’s neutrality.

The message had provoked a large number of indignant reactions, including that of the Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin, Andrij Melnyk, who replied that Elon Musk could go “screw himself”. To an observer noting on Twitter the concomitance between this message and that of SpaceX, Elon Musk replied on Friday: “We are only following his recommendation.”

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