(RepublicanWire.org) – On Friday, billionaire Elon Musk hilariously trolled a pro-Ukraine reporter who tweeted that SpaceX may no longer be able to supply its Starlink satellite internet terminals free to Ukraine due to the prohibitive costs of operating them.
In response to the Kiev Post correspondent’s tweet noting that the move “comes days after Ukrainian Ambassador @MelnykAndrij told Musk to ‘f*** off,’ the SpaceX founder quipped: “We’re just following his recommendation.”
Musk revealed last week that providing Starlink terminals and service to Ukraine has cost SpaceX $80 million, and that the costs will top $100 million by the end of the year.
Musk and his company donated terminals and Internet access to the Ukraine military that has been crucial in its war with Russia, but the company says it can no longer do that “indefinitely” and has asked the United States Pentagon to pay for the Internet service, CNBC reported.
“SpaceX’s request is reasonable. Shouldn’t expect a private sec co. to continue to fund this for free forever. Do Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop, etc do their work for free? SpaceX was generous in donating what they did & they’ll happily cont. to mfg terminals with gov money,” a Tesla investor named Sawyer Merritt said on Twitter, which Musk responded to.
“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,” Musk said.
As a reminder, just days after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, SpaceX donated 20,000 Starlink satellite units after Ukrainian officials begged him for help.
The satellite internet terminals were a game-changer for the Ukrainian military after the nation’s cellular phone and internet networks were destroyed by war.
But this financially draining charitable contribution could soon be coming to an end because it’s simply too expensive.
Musk’s SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon saying it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service as it has.
The letter also requested that the Pentagon take over funding for Ukraine’s government and military use of Starlink, which SpaceX claims would cost more than $120 million for the rest of the year and could cost close to $400 million for the next 12 months.
According to SpaceX documents sent to the Pentagon, the Ukrainian military’s commanding general, General Valerii Zaluzhniy, had sent a direct request to Musk in July, asking him for 8,000 more Starlink terminals.
In September — at least several days before Ukrainian Ambassador Andrij Melnik responded so undiplomatically to Musk’s peace proposal in an Oct. 3 tweet — SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote to the Pentagon, saying, “We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.”
Despite this behind-the-scenes grovelling for aid, it’s shocking that Ukrainian officials such as Melnyk and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have publicly scorned Musk in spite of his efforts to help them.
Zelenskyy’s repeated requests for more money — and his cavalier sense of entitlement — has eroded some of the public support he initially basked in following the Russian invasion.
As we enter the eighth month of the Russia-Ukraine war — with no end in sight — Americans are growing weary of politicians and their media puppets who insist that our tax dollars must be sent to defend another nation’s sovereignty and borders while our own southern border is barraged daily by unvetted armies of illegal aliens.
As more time passes in this regional border dispute, Ukraine will soon learn that biting the hand that feeds you is a losing strategy and that you can wear out people’s generosity with nonstop panhandling.