Ukraine is getting nervous about Elon Musk

HALIFAX, Canada— Starlink satellite Internet access points were a “signal of life” for the besieged Ukrainians, but CEO Elon Musk’s unpredictable behavior is forcing the Ukrainian government to look for alternatives, the deputy prime minister said.

Also at Musk drastic changes Kyiv on Twitter is concerned that the social network platform will become a “main source” of media manipulation, Olga Stefanyshyn, Ukraine’s vice-prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, told reporters at the Halifax International Security Forum.

Stefanyshyn said the Ukrainian government had begun purchasing “some items of equipment” — mostly European, but she also said she was working with American partners. These alternatives to Starlink are “not that complicated,” but they are “something that will allow us to replace and replace to make sure that at least at the level of government communication and government communication, we maintain sustainability.”

Still, she said, “Starlink was a beacon of life for Ukraine.”

Indeed, the service was highly appreciated by Ukrainian combat commanders and US servicemen work with them from outside Ukraine and the USA IT contractors in Ukraine. And this allowed Ukrainian citizens to stay in touch with the outside world.

But Stefanisina said working with a billionaire who seems to reverse his decisions on a daily, even hourly basis, presents some challenges.

“We are talking about a CEO or a private company. So it’s not like that [government-to-government, or G-to-G] format or [government-to-business, or G-to-B]. It’s G-to-B, but B is uncertain.’

In October, Pentagon officials also said they would look for alternatives to Starlink after Musk declared that he will no longer subsidize the use of his services by Ukrainians. (“The operation cost SpaceX $80 million and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year,” he tweeted.) Musk later reversed this and continued to fund the Starlink service in Ukraine. Other people too kicking the money to keep the beats flowing.

Adding to this sense of uncertainty is Musk’s chaotic Twitter presence.

“We are worried that Twitter will become a major source of manipulation, because now we will see that Elon Musk used it only to test the limit of manipulation,” she said, referring to October 3. tweet in which Musk nonchalantly proposed to hand over Crimea to Russia and hold new elections in the annexed regions, despite illegal forced movement of millions of Ukrainians to Russia specifically to change the political reality on the ground in these regions and international recognition of the fact that Crimea is part of Ukraine. Observers on Twitter noted that Musk’s statement was extremely uninformed repeated Kremlin talks.

Compare the October 3rd Musk with the February Musk, which surprised many around the world when it announced that he will send Starlink terminals to Ukraine. Even the message form, a tweet in response to another tweet by the Deputy Minister of Digital Information of Ukraine Mikhail Fedorov, looked spontaneous. But, according to Stefanishina, it was the Ukrainian Starlink employees who first turned to the government, urging them to make a request.

“They promoted this idea. They reached us,” she said. Ukraine is getting nervous about Elon Musk

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