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Elon Musk says Russia is ‘trying to kill’ Starlink
Head of SpaceX Elon Musk says that the Starlink satellite Internet system is the only communications system still functioning in the combat zone in Ukraine. According to him, the Russian military is “trying to kill” Starlink at the front.
Answering Twitter users’ questions, he noted major differences between peacetime and wartime communications systems, saying that fiber optic internet, phone lines, and cell towers have been destroyed in the combat zone. “Starlink is the only comms system still working,” he wrote, “even so, Starlink may still die.”
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Starlink is a global satellite Internet program, which SpaceX intends to use to provide broadband Internet access to the whole world. After Russia’s invasion, the company gave Ukraine access to Starlink. The Ukrainian authorities and military use satellite connections for communication, coordination, drone control, and adjusting artillery fire.
Yesterday, CNN reported that SpaceX says it can no longer pay for Ukraine’s use of Starlink, and asked the Pentagon to foot the bill. The company says the price tag for Starlink in Ukraine will reach 12 million dollars by the end of the year.
After SpaceX’s announcement, the White House said it was exploring options to help provide Kyiv with satellite communications. Senior Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said that Musk had helped Ukraine “in the most critical moments” but that businesses had a right to their own strategies. He promised that Ukraine would find a way to maintain Starlink services.
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