Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed Ukrainian officials over their hostility towards Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who provided the country with thousands of Starlink internet devices for free.
In a statement at a press conference on Monday, DeSantis took Ukraine to task for their ingratitude and said that they should be thankful for Musk’s contributions to their country.
“Elon Musk positioned his satellites over Ukraine and gave them these things,” DeSantis said. “So, they’ve actually been using his devices to be able to defend their country, and I guess some of the people in the government were attacking Musk.”
“And I’m just thinking to myself, ‘like he’s doing this for free, don’t bite the hand that feeds you!’ Good lord,” DeSantis added. “I mean, have a little bit —, so, but I think there was like kind of that kerfuffle … but he has provided that for them for free.”
“And if you think about it in a country that big, given what’s going on, I mean, that’s tens of millions of dollars that he’s effectively donated,” he said.
The news comes as SpaceX told the Pentagon that it needed compensation for tens of millions of dollars a month to continue operating its Starlink services in Ukraine, which provide the Armed Forces of Ukraine the ability to communicate on the battlefield. Musk later publicly withdrew the request following a backlash on social media, stating that he would continue to support Ukraine despite the costs.