It has been a rollercoaster few months with Elon Musk at the head of Twitter


  • Elon Musk also said he "turned down" funding from the U.S. Department of Defense
  • Musk's Starlink began providing free satellite internet service to Ukraine shortly after the war began
  • Ukrainian Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov thanked Musk for Starlink's services in Ukraine

Billionaire Elon Musk said he has donated $100 million to Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion by Russia.

This comes after author Stephen King, who apparently kept his Twitter blue check because Musk was paying for him to retain it, suggested to the Twitter CEO to just donate his blue check subscription of $8 a month to charity.

"I think Mr. Musk should give my blue check to charity. I recommend the Prytula Foundation, which provides lifesaving services in Ukraine. It's only $8, so perhaps Mr. Musk could add a bit more," King tweeted Saturday.

"I've donated $100M to Ukraine, how much have you donated?" Musk responded Sunday.

Musk also retweeted an Oct. 24, 2022, message from Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian digital transformation minister, who thanked the SpaceX founder and CEO for providing Ukraine with "critically important" Starlink satellite internet service.

"Before all the talks about funding, you confirmed to me that in any case you will ensure the work of Starlinks in Ukraine. This was critically important for Ukraine. We are grateful to you!" the Ukrainian minister said.

Musk also mentioned in his Sunday tweet that SpaceX, which operates Starlink, "turned down" funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to help pay for the operational costs, which he estimated amounted to around $100 million by the end of 2022. The billionaire said his company took a financial hit from funding the Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine.

Shortly after the start of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Starlink satellite internet service access became available in Ukraine at the request of Fedorov, which then helped Kyiv monitor troop movements and gather intelligence.

Musk previously said that SpaceX had been paying for Starlink terminals, new satellites, satellite launches and satellite maintenance in Ukraine, Teslarati reported.

However, in February, SpaceX limited Ukraine's ability to use its satellite internet service for military purposes after reports that the country used it to control drones. The move reportedly angered Kyiv.

"After Elon Musk ruled out the possibility of using Starlinks as an element of Ukraine's defense (communication with drones), he can no longer talk about values and democracy. By cutting off a certain opportunity for Ukrainians to defend themselves — Musk directly kills Ukrainians," Vitaly Ovcharenko, a Ukrainian soldier, said in a tweet.

In response, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said at an event in Washington, D.C., that Starlink's service in Ukraine was "never meant to be weaponized," according to a report by Reuters.

"Ukrainians have leveraged it in ways that were unintentional and not part of any agreement," Shotwell said.

Meanwhile, King, upon learning about Musk's donation to Ukraine, called the move "excellent" in a tweet Sunday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride an infantry fighting vehicle on a road near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine