(p. A6) KYIV, Ukraine—Elon Musk backtracked on his complaints over the cost of funding Starlink internet terminals in Ukraine and said his company would continue to pay for them, as explosions rocked the Russian-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Sunday [Oct. 16, 2022].
Mr. Musk, the billionaire chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla, pledged to continue funding the Starlink service for Ukraine just a day after he said SpaceX couldn’t finance the service indefinitely on its own.
“The hell with it,” Mr. Musk tweeted on Saturday. “Even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”
The 20,000 Starlink terminals estimated to be in operation across Ukraine have played a crucial role in maintaining the country’s communications during the war and are deployed at hundreds of Ukrainian military outposts where they allow commanders to call in artillery strikes or coordinate operations in areas where cell service is jammed by Russia.
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(Note: the online version of the story was updated Oct. 16, 2022, and has the title “Elon Musk Says SpaceX Will Continue to Cover Starlink Costs in Ukraine.”)