Skip to Content

SpaceX board member Steve Jurvetson holding a Starlink user terminal. Wikipedia

Will Elon Musk be the game changer in Ukraine?

Tesla founder Elon Musk is once again becoming an important military factor in the Ukrainian theater of war. Musk has decided to take around 1 300 of his Starlink satellites, which previously covered the territory of Ukraine, off the grid due to financing problems.

Published: November 20, 2022, 7:30 am

    Read more

    This is a heavy blow for the Ukrainian military as well as for the Kiev government. Early in the war, Musk had provided Ukraine with thousands of Starlink mobile terminals, which the government used to keep its communications open.

    More importantly, the Starlink network was often the only means of communication for the Ukrainian military, and thanks to additionally developed software, the Ukrainian units were able to record great success in engaging Russian targets using Starlink.

    “Starlink helped us a lot when it came to the blockades in our cities and occupied territories. Sometimes we completely lost touch with those regions,” Ukrainian President Zelensky told Business Insider.

    But that seems over now. Due to funding problems, Musk’s space company SpaceX took 1 300 satellites offline. Musk is demanding $2 500 per terminal from the Ukrainian military to keep them running. The total cost increased to 20 million US dollars. The result: the Ukrainian military can no longer – or does not want to – bear these costs.

    SpaceX said it has already spent $100 million funding Starlink in Ukraine and will not do so again. The Pentagon should therefore take over a larger part of the financing. But the Pentagon also recently refused to pay for the costs. Negotiations on the matter are still ongoing.

    Musk had recently made himself unpopular with the Ukrainian government with his peace plan. This provided for the cession of territory and the repetition of referendums in the areas attached to Russia under UN supervision. Kiev responded with outrage and personal threats.

    Before the Midterm elections in the US, Musk had urged “independent-minded” Americans to vote for the Republican Party.

    Musk’s Republican leaning or fading energy?

    The Ukrainian government has meanwhile warned its Western allies that Kiev would not be able to secure heat and power due to intensified Russian attacks on its energy grid, according to sources. Without energy, Starlink becomes more or less useless.

    Ukraine, which is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, according to European anti-corruption officials, thus remains a bottomless pit. Not only are weapons from the West and even aid supplies being diverted to the black market on a large scale – even gigantic money transfers from the West are simply disappearing.

    In March, the Kiev government launched a fundraising campaign for all supporters of Ukraine with the bankrupt crypto provider FTX. The funds were then supposed go to the Ukrainian National Bank and be invested there on the one hand for humanitarian aid and on the other hand in military armaments.

    A rumor is circulating in US financial circles that enormous sums of additional unofficial US military aid for the Ukrainian government were laundered at FTX. Kiev is said not only to have repeatedly speculated with the aid money “in the short term”, but also to have invested billions in FTX in the long term.

    Shortly after the start of the campaign, the news platform CoinDesk reported in March that 48 million euros were donated within just a few hours after the start of “Aid for Ukraine”. Since then, industry experts speculate, much larger sums may have flowed into the coffers of the corrupt FTX outfit.

    However, neither the Kiev government nor President Zelensky need fear the consequences of this particular debacle. Supporting Ukraine has been far too important an agenda for the Biden administration for triple-digit speculative losses on Western aid money to be a valid counterargument. US Secretary of State Blinken has assured Kiev that his administration would continue to support Ukraine “as long as necessary“.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Daniel Friberg, founder of the publishing house Arktos, tells Nya Tider that they intend to counter censorship by starting new ventures, including an online cultural magazine and an online university. Photo: Arktos

    Publisher of Unique Literature Worldwide Blocked by International Distributor

    Arktos has distinguished itself by publishing groundbreaking philosophers and social critics. Now, the publisher's international distributor has abruptly terminated the cooperation, and more than 400 already printed titles cannot reach their audience. There is strong evidence that the distributor has been under pressure, something that has also happened in Sweden. We have spoken with Arktos founder Daniel Friberg about the ongoing struggle for freedom of speech in a shrinking cultural corridor.

    Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, is one of the Catholic bishops who signed the letter, which was read out in churches throughout Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland over the Easter weekend. Photo: The Catholic Church

    Care prompts bishops to criticize transgender ideology

    The Catholic bishops of the Scandinavian countries presented an open five-page letter criticizing transgender ideology on March 21, just before Easter. The document primarily expresses care and advice and was read aloud in Catholic churches in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, is one of the signatories of the document.

    FREEZING IN THEIR HOMES is the new grim reality for many Brits and Northern Europeans. Margaret is 92 years old and has just come in from the winter cold, but no warmth awaits her at home. She fears her own home more than the icy streets. Next to her are four thick blankets, and on the shelf above the fireplace, which she can no longer afford to buy wood for, is a meter showing the daily cost of electricity (inset). It shows £1.03, about 13 SEK. When it reaches £3, about 38 SEK, she is forced to turn off the little heat she has to afford it. Still image: ITW News

    Brits Forced to Live in Darkness and Cold

    Food prices are rising at a furious pace, fastest in Scotland in almost half a century. At the same time, energy prices are at record highs. People are forced to choose between freezing or going hungry, and a majority of Scots are forced to live in cold and darkness to cope with bills. Old generations' tricks for saving and keeping warm are returning. Nevertheless, it is feared that 10,000 Brits will die of cold homes this winter. We present the Swedish Public Health Agency's guidelines on indoor temperature. Governments in Europe are introducing rationing and monitoring of food purchases. Net-zero emissions are a lie that, in practice, de-industrializes the West and dramatically lowers our standard of living.

    Thousands of Flemish farmers block roads in Brussels against nitrogen policy

    BrusselsMore than 2500 farmers from Belgium's Dutch-speaking Flanders region gathered at Brussels' central Arts-Loi street and blocked roads with tractors toward Brussels to protest the regional government's plan to limit nitrogen emissions.

    Orban: EU energy sanctions costing citizens billions

    BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned that some western states could soon send troops to Ukraine. He also criticized the fact that the EU sanctions against Russia had cost Hungarian taxpayers tens of billions of euros.

    Italy: New leader of the Social Democrats is one of Soros’ ‘preferred politicians’

    RomeDuring the election campaign, Elly Schlein presented herself as the standard-bearer of the poorest. However, her background and previous work raise doubts about her honesty.

    UK greenhouses shut down due to high energy costs

    LondonIn Great Britain, a particularly depressing facet of the crisis is now showing its first contours - and thus anticipating what is likely to happen in other European countries in the near future: because of the exploding energy prices, agriculture is being strangled and fresh produce has to be rationed.

    Lisbon opens borders to all Portuguese speakers

    LisbonNot only the German and Italian governments keep opening new paths for immigration. Portugal, too, has opened a Pandora's box and is paving the way for possibly millions of non-European immigrants to the EU – something which is not mentioned by the mainstream media.

    Illegal immigration to Italy has reached its highest level ever

    RomeIn Italy, despite the overwhelming right-wing electoral success in September, there is still nothing to be seen of the promised asylum turnaround – on the contrary. Giorgia Meloni has been in office for five months, but the arrivals of migrants in Italy have doubled compared to the previous year.

    Dismantling diplomacy with ‘feminist foreign policy’

    BudapestGerman Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) wants to counter German security issues abroad with feminist politics. Gender training, LGBTQ events and quotas are now part of their new guidelines, which are intended to bring about "cultural change". The German ambassador to Hungary, Julia Gross, provided an embarrassing example.

    Go to archive