Musk Makes New Promise To Ukraine Amid Starlink Drama• https://www.zerohedge.com by Tyler Durden
"Before [the Department of Defense] even came back with an answer, I told @FedorovMykhailo that SpaceX would not turn off Starlink even if DoD refused to provide funding," Musk stated in a Sunday evening tweet, referring to Ukraine's vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation Mykhailo Fedorov.
The new pledge to not "turn off" the Starlink services used by Ukrainian troops means that even if the US Department of Defense ultimately refuses to share the bill, Musk will personally ensure it stays on.
The Register reported of the controversy that "The Starlink-Ukraine honeymoon period appears to be at an end: SpaceX reportedly wants the US to begin picking up the tab for more of its war-zone services." Musk has said SpaceX already forked over $80 million in costs to keep the internet systems operating, which the Ukrainian government has long acknowledged as crucial to its military operations and communications.
This public promise comes also as some hawkish pundits have begun to float the idea of nationalizing the Starlink systems. This is precisely what Former George W. Bush speechwriter and columnist for The Atlantic David Frum argued last week:
Frum argued on Monday that it is becoming too "unwise" to suspect that Musk will continue to provide Starlink satellite equipment to help Ukrainian citizens access the internet during Russia's invasion of the country. To remedy this, he suggested the U.S. government should seize and nationalize the company if Musk ever plans to pull his satellites.
Frum had tweeted "It was always unreasonable, and is becoming unwise, to expect @elonmusk to provide Internet to Ukraine for free forever. Western allies should pay. And US should have a plan ready to nationalize Starlink fast if Musk cuts off Ukraine's connection to advance his political agenda."