Elon Musk is obsessed with the biggest threats to the world today.
The serial entrepreneur has spent the past two weeks talking about the Russian war in Ukraine.
In fact, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Tesla CEO (TSLA) It has provided crucial assistance to Ukrainians in the form of Starlink, a secure and independent satellite Internet access service developed by its own space company, SpaceX.
Starlink is especially used by civilians in areas under attack by Russia and in areas where infrastructure has been destroyed. Government officials and armed forces use the service on the ground because it is safe.
The company’s satellites are also helping Ukrainian military drones destroy Russian tanks and army trucks. The drones are equipped with anti-tank grenades for firing at targets.
In the face of Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, Starlink became the only means of communication for the Ukrainian armed forces on the front.
“Starlink is the primary communications system for the Ukrainian Army at the war front. If anyone else wants this job, please be my guest…” Musk posted on Twitter on October 14.
“Starlink is the only communications system still operating on the battlefronts – the others are all dead. Russia is trying hard to kill Starlink. For protection, SpaceX has funneled huge resources toward defense.”
The critical role Starlink is currently playing in this war, which also includes messages, has been confirmed by the Ukrainian authorities. Starlink allows the Ukrainian authorities to continue to control part of the narrative of this war, while inflicting defeats on Russia in key areas of the country.
“Elonmusk is definitely among the world’s largest private donors supporting Ukraine,” Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation, said on Twitter on October 14.
…to a big announcement
However, controversy over Starlink funding erupted after it was revealed that Musk and SpaceX had asked the US government through the Department of Defense to provide some funding to Starlink. The United States supports Ukraine both militarily and logically through NATO.
Musk and SpaceX felt that since Starlink had become an essential “military” tool in this war, it was up to the government to fund part of the service to Ukraine. So they threatened to cut the service if the Pentagon refused.
The billionaire put additional pressure on the White House and NATO by making it clear that without public funding, Starlink would undoubtedly die.
The tech mogul warned on October 14 that “Russia is trying so hard to kill Starlink that, for protection, SpaceX has diverted huge resources toward defense. However, Starlink may still be dying.”
But only a few hours after this warning, Musk changed his face. He agreed to provide Starlink to Ukraine for free, even if the service caused a financial loss for SpaceX.
Musk announced on Twitter on October 15: “Hell… even though Starlink is still losing money and other companies are getting billions of dollars from taxpayers, we will continue to fund the Ukrainian government for free.”
He did not explain what prompted him to abandon his demands.
“I’m trying really hard to calm down from this situation, and I’m obviously failing,” said the serial entrepreneur.
The announcement sparked a catalyst for his fans on social media, who did not hesitate to point out that the billionaire’s critics and critics would continue to criticize him despite this good deed.
“No good deed goes unpunished,” commented tech investor David Sacks, who is also a friend of Musk.
“Still,” Musk replied, “we still have to do good deeds.”
On October 7, Musk said that providing Starlink in Ukraine “cost SpaceX $80 million and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year.” The figure could reach $400 million for the next 12 months.
About 20,000 Starlink stations were shipped to Ukraine. It is provided and partially funded by SpaceX, USAid, Poland, the European Union and private companies, according to Ukraine’s state news agency Ukrinform.
While SpaceX loses money providing this service to Ukraine, the move also gives Musk global exposure, rarely received by any other CEO.
The new declaration also allows the world’s richest man to bypass his controversial peace plan, on October 3, to end the Russo-Ukrainian war. This plan, which mirrored Moscow’s requests, required Ukraine to recognize its Crimea region as Russian territory, which Russia annexed in 2014.