Elon Musk's "good deed" to supply Ukraine with Starlink terminals is now backfiring as the billionaire is trying to charge the Pentagon for it and keeps hurling pro-Russian statements.
Recently, Musk's attempt at geopolitics outraged Ukraine and its allies. Musk said a referendum should be held in Russian-occupied territories to leave its fate to "the will of people." He also recognized Crimea as part of Russia, even though Moscow illegally annexed it in 2014 in violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
His tweets were met with fury, and Ukrainian ambassador Andrij Melnik told Musk to "f*** off" – a recommendation the billionaire now claims to be following.
"We're just following his recommendation," Musk tweeted on Friday after CNN published an exclusive article saying SpaceX asked for the Pentagon to pay for its satellite services in Ukraine as the company can no longer afford it.
There are approximately 25,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine. Musk said the program has already cost SpaceX $80 million and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year.
According to CNN, SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon asking to fund Ukraine's use of Starlink. The company allegedly can no longer donate new terminals or support the existing ones.
SpaceX said that there is a monthly cost of $4,500 per Starlink for the most advanced service of constant connectivity offered to all terminals in Ukraine despite the commonly adopted $500 monthly plan. Two Starlink models sent to Ukraine cost $1500 and $2500, while consumer models come with a way cheaper $60 bill per month.
The author of the article, CNN’s Senior National Security Correspondent Alex Marquardt, got blocked by Musk immediately after the article went live on Friday.
This is not the first recent public fight Musk has recently engaged in. Either way, the business magnate’s Twitter audience seems to be more invested in his bold and controversial statements way more than in the new perfume he says he wants to sell “to be able to buy Twitter.”
Ian Bremmer, a well-known political analyst, shared that Musk had told him about the conversation with Vladimir Putin. Vice first reported the story.
"Elon Musk told me he had spoken with Putin and the Kremlin directly about Ukraine. He also told me what the Kremlin's red lines were," Bremmer tweeted.
Musk denied the allegations, saying he had only spoken to Putin 18 months ago about space.
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