WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - SpaceX notified the US Defense Department in September that it can no longer donate its Starlink services to Ukraine and requested that the US government fund it instead, CNN reported.
SpaceX is not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time, a company official said in a letter to the Defense Department as quoted by the report on Thursday.
The report said that SpaceX will end up spending more than $120 million donating its Starlink services to Ukraine this year and expects it could cost about $400 million to continue providing those services next year.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to Sputnik's request for comment on this matter.
The report noted that Ukraine's commanding general, Gen. Valeril Zaluzhniy, requested 8,000 more Starlink terminals in July, especially since about 500 Starlink terminals were destroyed in the battlefield each month. However, a consultant for SpaceX advised him that request could not be met because of the financial burden to the company.
Moreover, the report, citing sources, said wide-ranging outages of Starlink's services on the frontlines of the conflict in Ukraine are affecting the Ukrainian armed forces' ability to make further advances.
Sources told CNN that Starlink is the main way Ukraine's armed forces communicate on the battlefield, and the Ukrainian government and its military efforts are entirely dependent on it.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said previously via Twitter, in response to these outages, that what is happening on the battlefield is classified.