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San Francisco : The US government has paid millions of dollars to ship Starlink terminals, a satellite internet service operated by Elon Musk, to Ukraine, a report has claimed. SpaceX has previously denied any such move.

The Washington Post report revealed that the Joe Biden government actually paid millions of dollars for equipment and transportation.

Reports late on Friday found the US Agency for International Development (USAID) paid $1,500 for 1,333 terminals, up nearly $2 million.

USAID said earlier this week that it had delivered 5,000 Starlink terminals to Ukraine’s government through a public-private partnership with US aerospace manufacturer SpaceX.

Per the report, it is still unclear whether Ukraine has received the standard terminals, for which SpaceX currently charges $600, or the upgraded terminals costing $2,500.

The Starlink satellite terminal will enable unlimited, no-throttle data connectivity from anywhere in Ukraine.

The terminals will allow public officials and important civilian service providers to continue to communicate with the outside world within Ukraine and even if the brutal aggression of Russian President Vladimir Putin has severed connections to Ukraine’s fiber-optic or cellular communications infrastructure, According to USAID.

Ukraine’s satellite internet connectivity was taken permanently offline by a cyber attack on 24 February, the day of the Russian invasion.

SpaceX has delivered 3,667 satellites at a cost of “approximately $10 million”, with USAID purchasing the remaining 1,333 terminals, as per an earlier USAID release.

On February 26, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, who was also Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, called on Musk for help as Ukraine countered invasions and continued cyberattacks by the Russian military.

In response, Musk promised to send a truck full of Starlink user terminals to Ukraine.

 

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