Ukraine is set to get more than 10,000 additional Starlink terminals in the coming months.
The terminals and service fees to SpaceX’s satellite Internet services are set to be covered by undisclosed European Union governments.
However, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov warned that there was no contract in place and said that the country will need to find additional funding by spring 2023.
Starlink has proved invaluable for Ukraine, connecting citizens and soldiers during the Russia invasion.
Russia has targeted critical grid and telecoms infrastructure, destroying traditional communication methods, but Starlink has allowed many to keep in contact.
Ukraine has received around 22,000 Starlink dishes since the war began, Fedorov said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, Gen. Zaluzhniy, praised the “exceptional utility” of Starlink, and said it was critical to the war effort.
SpaceX and CEO Elon Musk originally asserted that they were covering all of the costs of the dishes and service fees, but it was revealed that the US government as well as European government were providing tens of millions of dollars. Ukrainian individuals have also been paying for the service.
The rocket company then sent a letter to the US government asking for more funds to cover its Ukrainian operations, but retracted the request after public pushback. US officials were reportedly rankled that the company wanted to look like heroes, while getting secretly paid for it.
Musk claims that it costs the company around $20 million a month to operate in Ukraine, but the number has not been independently verified. Data Center Dynamics