Elon Musk took a dig at Russian officials following SpaceX’s delivery of “Starlink” internet terminals to Ukraine – slyly tweeting that his firm stepped in to assist the local population only after it experienced “strange” service outages during Russia’s invasion.
Musk’s SpaceX shipped the Starlink terminals at the request of Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov. Ukrainian officials had expressed concern that the country’s residents could lose access to reliable internet during the Russian invasion, which has included attacks on key infrastructure.
“Ukraine civilian Internet was experiencing strange outages – bad weather perhaps? — so SpaceX is helping fix it,” Musk tweeted.
Musk was responding to a Twitter follower’s translation of apparent criticism from Roscosmos Director-General Dmitry Rogozin.
During an appearance on Russian state television, Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency, purportedly slammed Musk for assisting Ukraine during the invasion despite SpaceX’s status as a civilian firm – purportedly alleging the billionaire had “chosen his side.”
The Post could not independently verify the translation that prompted Musk’s response.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby denied the US military assisted SpaceX in its delivery of the Starlink terminals to Ukraine.
“No help from us that I’m aware of,” Kirby said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Federov thanked Musk for his assistance when the terminals arrived in Ukraine, noting that “Starlink keeps our cities connected and emergency services saving lives!”
Musk has been outspoken in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
When Rogozin eerily suggested the International Space Station could plummet from orbit if Russia withdrew its cooperation in response to economic sanctions, Musk suggested that SpaceX was equipped to fulfill any needs required to keep the station operational.
On Thursday, Rogozin also said Russia would stop providing rocket engines to the US in response to its sanctions.
“In a situation like this we can’t supply the United States with our world’s best rocket engines. Let them fly on something else, their broomsticks, I don’t know what,” Rogozin said on state television.