Starlink support for Ukraine will exceed $100 million by the end of the year, Elon Musk said earlier today. The SpaceX CEO’s response was to an article by Financial Times that claimed that the Starlink terminals and services were paid for. Elon Musk pointed out that the claim was false and corrected it. He’s also said previously that the operation has cost SpaceX $80 million.
The FT article mainly focused on Starlink outages for Ukrainian soldiers serving on the front lines. “As for what’s happening on the battlefield, that’s classified,” Elon Musk said.
Adam, the front lines are advancing fast. SL team does not know where to adjust geofencing ahead of time for obvious reasons. This has been an issue all throughout the counterattack. Please stop. They’re doing the best they can.
— Sid Chambers, PhD 🇺🇦 (@ArtfulTakedown) October 7, 2022
According to the article which cited Roman Sinicyn, a coordinator at the Serhiy Prytula Charity, the outages could be occurring because SpaceX was trying to prevent the misuse of Starlink by Russian forces. “It is absolutely clear to me that this is being done by representatives of Starlink to prevent the usage of their technology by Russian occupation forces. The Ukrainian military and SpaceX need to coordinate more closely,” he told FT.
The report follows the backlash that Elon Musk received for his Ukraine-Russia peace plan. Naturally, the outages may add fuel to the fire but Elon Musk has clarified his continued support for Ukraine despite his thoughts on peace and the reaction of the leaders involved.
Odd that they just started having these outages after Elon posted an idea they didn’t like
— Bobby (@BobbyCandles) October 7, 2022
Elon Musk also said that he is in regular contact with, Mykhailo Fedorov Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation Along with spending over $80 million to support Ukraine, SpaceX and Elon Musk have also been put at serious risk of a Russian cyberattack, Elon Musk said.
Yaroslav Trofimov, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for The Wall Street Journal confirmed that he has repeatedly used Starlink in several frontline locations in the past ten days and never had any issues. Some of these locations such as Donetsk and Kharkiv were just retaken.
Christopher Miller, the author of the FT article, confirmed that he’d spoken with soldiers who said the terminals were working as well as soldiers who said they weren’t working.
I have no doubt that there may have been outages. Just saying that we were all over the eastern front and Starlink worked for us.
— Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof) October 7, 2022
Tesmanian’s Eva Fox, who is Ukrainian and has had to flee for her life with her family a few times pointed out that people shouldn’t fall for false information. “Starlink doesn’t disable services for Ukrainian soldiers. Simply, as in everything, there are some technical details that should be solved by professionals!!!”
Teslarati recently interviewed Gia Santos who is volunteering with the Sons of Liberty International in Ukraine. The nonprofit is helping to train Ukrainian soldiers and they’ve been using Starlink. You can read that interview here.
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