Ukraine Bit the Hand that Fed It Starlink, and Elon Musk’s Response Is One for the Books

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been offering his Starlink satellite internet service free of charge for some time. After one Ukrainian leader told him to “f**k off”, Musk now wants to transfer the bill to another government.

It all began when Musk published a Twitter poll about how peace could be achieved in Ukraine through a series of decisions.

– UN supervision to redo elections in annexed areas. Russia can leave if the people want it.

– Crimea is officially part of Russia as it was since 1783 (until Khrushchev made a mistake).

– Crimea water supply assured

– Ukraine remains neutral.

Musk agreed with one Twitter user who said that “yes” was the winner of the “yes or no” poll. He also stated that it was the largest bot attack he’d seen. Musk claimed that the outcome he had posted in the poll was most likely to be realized. There is also a possibility of nuclear war, though it’s unlikely.

This poll was a problem for the leaders of Ukraine. Allies of the West view Crimea as Ukraine and Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO. This is something they have pursued vigorously since the start of World War II. Musk claimed that the poll was pro-Russian, but it was viewed as pro-Russian.

Andrij Melnyk was Ukraine’s ambassador in Germany. He did not like Musk and responded to the poll.

Melnyk tweeted, “F*** off is my very diplomatic response to you Elon Musk.”

Fast forward to Friday, and Musk declared Starlink too costly to give away for free. He is now asking the Pentagon for the money. Jason Jay Smart from the Belarus Post tweeted about Musk’s decision to have the U.S. government pay the bill. Musk responded.

Musk tweeted, “We’re following his recommendation.”

Musk replied to a Twitter user asking about the cost of maintaining Starlink in the United States.

Musk tweeted, “In addition to terminals we have to launch, maintain, replenish satellites & ground station & pay telecoms for access to the Internet via gateways.” “We have also had to defend ourselves against cyberattacks and jamming, which are becoming more difficult.” The cost of burn is nearing $20M per month.”

This is a significant price for a war effort, which is apparently not being appreciated by the Ukrainian leadership. Musk wants to transfer the costs to someone else to stop his company from suffering a severe bleed.

However, insulting someone who is giving you something essential to a war effort is not an option. Musk won’t take Starlink offline. However, it is perfectly acceptable for him to walk off at any moment and get someone far more interested to pay for it. A bit more diplomacy than Melnyk’s would have been possible. It’s not hard to imagine that he would know this as an ambassador.