Ukraine envoy hopeful about fate of Musk’s satellite network

Oct 16, 2022, 10:41 AM | Updated: 10:42 am
FILE - Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award i...

FILE - Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award in Berlin on Dec. 1, 2020. Musk suggested in a Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, tweet that his rocket company SpaceX may continue to fund its satellite-based Starlink internet service in Ukraine. But Musk's tone and wording also raised the possibility that the irascible Tesla CEO was just being sarcastic. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo via AP, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Ukrainian diplomat expressed optimism Sunday about securing the money needed for the continued operation of a satellite network funded by billionaire Elon Musk that has provided key battlefield and humanitarian contacts in the war with Russia.

“It’s there, it’s working,” said the envoy, Oksana Markarova. “It will need to be working for a longer time.”

She did not indicate whether Musk had agreed to continue funding his rocket company SpaceX’s Starlink internet service in Ukraine but said the country’s collaboration with the company has been excellent.

“We got the Starlinks in Ukraine very quickly, in some areas for humanitarian support, it’s the only connection that we have,” Markarova told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And it’s very important to continue having it and I’m positive that we will find a solution there.”

On Friday, senior U.S. officials confirmed that Musk had asked the Defense Department to take over funding for the service Starlink provides in Ukraine. Starlink, which provides broadband internet service using more than 2,200 low-orbiting satellites, has provided crucial battlefield communications for Ukrainian military forces since early in the nation’s defense against Russia’s February invasion.

Musk suggested in a tweet Saturday that SpaceX may continue funding Starlink after all, though his tone and wording also raised the possibility that the Tesla CEO was just being sarcastic. It is not clear whether SpaceX has actually established future plans for service in Ukraine.

“The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free,” Musk tweeted Saturday.

Musk also recently has sparred with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after the billionaire suggested that Ukraine cede the strategically important Crimea region to Russia and make other concessions as part of a peace deal, drawing a rebuke from Zelenskyy.

Musk tweeted on Friday that it was costing SpaceX $20 million a month to support Ukraine’s communications needs.

Markarova said Ukraine has “disagreed with Elon Musk on some of his views about Crimea, and we were happy to discuss it with him.” She added that Ukraine is proud “to be one of the fastest growing Starlink countries globally.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, from right, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institut...
Associated Press

US targets Russian mercenary group over religious freedom

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday placed a well-known Russian paramilitary organization on a list of religious freedom violators alongside a number of notorious terrorist organizations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced he had designated the Wagner Group as an “entity of particular concern” for its activities in the Central African Republic. Also […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Suspect in killings of 4 at pot farm returned to Oklahoma

KINGFISHER, Okla. (AP) — The man wanted in the shooting deaths of four people and wounding of a fifth at an Oklahoma marijuana farm has been extradited back to the state from Florida, authorities said Friday. Wu Chen, also known as Chen Wu in jail records, was taken from the Miami-Dade County jail Wednesday by […]
13 hours ago
FILE - The moon rises on Nov. 29, 2022, as a Moscow police officer stands guard in his vehicle at t...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Deaths of 4 Idaho students fuel online sleuths

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The deaths of four University of Idaho students nearly three weeks ago has riled up thousands of would-be armchair sleuths, many of whom are posting speculation and unfounded rumors about the fatal stabbings online. Relatively few details have been released in the horrific case that has left the small town of […]
13 hours ago
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who is in an unexpected tight race with Democratic challenger Adam Fr...
Associated Press

Boebert’s race against Frisch in Colorado goes to recount

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Secretary of State has ordered a recount in the congressional race where Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert led Democrat Adam Frisch by just 550 votes in an unexpectedly tight race. The Associated Press has declared the race too close to call and will await the results of the recount. The recount, […]
13 hours ago
FILE - People wait in line to early vote for the U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia between Sen...
Associated Press

Nonprofits strain to support voters in Georgia Senate race

When the closely watched Georgia Senate race went to a runoff, nonprofit organizations that educate voters strained to ramp up operations again after Election Day. “It’s not just, ‘Find new canvassers and recruit new volunteers.’ It’s also, ‘Find new money,'” said Kendra Cotton, CEO of New Georgia Project — founded by Stacey Abrams, the Democrat […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Georgia: What to expect on election night

A fiercely competitive Senate runoff in Georgia has national implications as Democrats try to solidify their hold on the upper chamber of Congress. Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is trying to win a full Senate term against Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Warnock got over 37,000 more votes than Walker in the Nov. 8 election, out of […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Ukraine envoy hopeful about fate of Musk’s satellite network