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SpaceX was reportedly paid by the US to send Starlink terminals to Ukraine to ensure connectivity

USAID paid $1,500 per Starlink station and spent $800,000 on transportation

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SpaceX reportedly recieved million to transport Starlink to Ukraine

SpaceX reportedly received millions to transport Starlink terminals to Ukraine amid the Russian invasion of the country to ensure connectivity in the region.

Elon Musk’s rocket firm had previously claimed that it had not been paid for delivering the Starlink terminals to the invading country. And that the project was purely altruistic. The firm, on the other hand, provided hundreds of terminals on its own, in addition to those funded by taxpayers.

At an event last month, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said, “I’m delighted that we were able to give the terminals to individuals in Ukraine.” At the same event, she told CNBC, “I don’t think the US has given us any money to deliver terminals to Ukraine.”

According to documents acquired by The Washington Post, USAID paid $1,500 per Starlink station and spent $800,000 on transportation, totalling more than $3 million in taxpayer funds. It went on to buy an additional 175 units.

USAID also financed the shipping of around 3,700 terminals, which were most likely donated by SpaceX. The cost of shipping 200 Starlink kits was also subsidised by the French government, with Poland assisting with certain deliveries.

Select Ukrainians have been using these terminals to stay online amidst Russia’s aggressive invasion. It comes with three months’ worth of data. Due to physical and cyber-attacks on telecommunications infrastructure, large areas of Ukraine’s communications networks have been disrupted, and these terminals are playing a vital role in connecting the Ukrainians to the outer world.

In the context of Starlink to Ukraine, USAID spokesperson Rebecca Chalif said, “Delivery of Starlink terminals was made possible by a range of stakeholders, whose combined contributions were valued at over $15 million and facilitated the procurement, international flights, on-the-ground transportation, and satellite Internet service of 5,000 Starlink terminals.”

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