Musk says SpaceX spent $80 million to support Starlink in Ukraine

  • “Obviously, we’re pro-Ukraine,” he tweeted, hours after being attacked by Ukrainian diplomats on Twitter.
  • Musk voted for a Russia-Ukraine war peace plan that seemingly parrots Putin’s propaganda.

Elon Musk is embroiled in a new Twitter feud, this time with Ukrainian government officials.

It started on Monday, when Musk posted a poll on Twitter about a peace plan for the war in Ukraine. The poll sparked backlash, with Ukrainian diplomats criticizing Musk for the poll, which appeared to push the Kremlin’s talking points.

Late Monday night, Musk said he is “obviously” pro-Ukraine, tweeting that SpaceX has spent $80 million to operate Starlink in Ukraine.

“SpaceX’s exhaustive cost to enable and support Starlink in Ukraine so far is ~$80M. Our support for Russia is $0. Obviously, we’re pro-Ukraine,” he wrote.

Starlink is SpaceX’s satellite communications system used by Ukrainian soldiers to communicate on the battlefield. Voice and internet services have been disrupted due to power outages, Russian shelling and jamming.

Musk’s original Twitter voting had called for a vote on a list of terms that appeared to imply they could lead to peace between Ukraine and Russia, including re-run elections in regions recently annexed by Russia and recognition of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Ukrainian government officials, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk, responded to the poll quickly and critically. Zelensky posted his own poll on Twitter, asking people which Musk they like better: The one who supports Russia or the one who supports Ukraine.

While the Twitterverse has been polling about Musk’s peace plans and likeability, Musk’s Starlink is helping Ukraine’s war efforts on the ground.

“Thank you, Elon Musk,” Oleksiy, a Ukrainian army soldier, told Politico in June, crediting Musk’s Starlink for helping the war effort communicate.

Musk has shipped thousands of Starlink satellite kits to Ukraine since the war broke out. This goes both ways, as it uses the opportunity to test those satellite services, which it is also trying to sell to other countries, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Without Starlink, we would have already lost the war,” a platoon commander on the Izyum front in Ukraine told the Journal.

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