Elon Musk drops threat to stop satellite Internet service to Ukraine

Elon Musk has dropped his threat to stop providing free satellite Internet service in Ukraine — saying that he wanted to perform “good deeds” despite the cost.

The abrupt about-face came a day after the world’s richest man said his SpaceX company couldn’t afford to keep funding the high-tech Starlink connection “indefinitely.

“The hell with it … even though starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding ukraine govt for free,” Musk tweeted Saturday.

Elon Musk has dropped his threat to stop providing free satellite Internet service in Ukraine.
Michael Gonzalez/Getty Images

On Thursday, CNN reported that SpaceX had asked the Pentagon to pay for the Starlink service that’s helped Ukraine’s military and citizens stay online amid the Russian invasion.

A day later, Musk said it was “unreasonable” for him to keep shouldering the cost, which he’s said is nearly $20 million a month.

“SpaceX is not asking to recoup past expenses, but also cannot fund the existing system indefinitely and send several thousand more terminals that have data usage up to 100X greater than typical households. This is unreasonable,” he tweeted Friday.

musk tweet
“the hell with it … even though starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding ukraine govt for free,” Elon Musk tweeted Saturday.
Twitter/@elonmusk

Many Twitter users questioned his reversal Saturday, with venture capitalist David Sacks warning: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Musk replied, “Even so, we should still do good deeds.”

The Tesla founder also marveled at some of the other responses.

“The comments in this thread are a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream,” he wrote.

A satellite tracker image is seen displayed on a smartphone with a Starlink logo in the background
CNN reported that SpaceX had asked the Pentagon to pay for the Starlink service that’s helped Ukraine’s military and citizens stay online amid the Russian invasion.
Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Musk’s threat to cut off Starlink service followed a dust-up earlier this month sparked by his suggestions for bringing peace to Ukraine.

His suggestions included holding new elections under United Nations supervision in Russian-annexed regions and making “Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).”

Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, responded, “F–k off is my very diplomatic reply to you.”

Musk’s ideas were also overwhelmingly rejected, 59.1% to 40.1%, by more than 2.7 million Twitter users who took part in a poll he posted online.

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