Billionaire Elon Musk has suggested his rocket company SpaceX may continue to fund its satellite-based Starlink internet service in Ukraine.
But the tone and wording of his tweet also raised the possibility the Tesla boss was just being sarcastic.
Musk frequently tweets jokes and insults and sometimes goes on unusual tangents, such as a recent series of tweets suggesting one of his companies has begun selling its own line of fragrances.
It is not clear if SpaceX has actually established future plans for service in Ukraine.
Musk has claimed it is costing SpaceX 20 million US dollars a month to support Ukraine’s communications needs (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool Photo/AP)
On Friday, senior US officials confirmed Musk had officially asked the Defence Department to take over funding for the service Starlink provides in Ukraine.
Starlink, which provides broadband internet service using more than 2,200 low-orbiting satellites, has provided crucial battlefield communications for Ukrainian military forces since early in the nation’s defence against Russia’s February invasion.
Musk’s tweet on Saturday read: “The hell with it… even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”
Early on Friday, Musk tweeted that it was costing SpaceX 20 million US dollars (£17.8 million) a month to support Ukraine’s communications needs.
Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The senior US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter not yet made public, said the issue of Starlink funding has been discussed in meetings and senior leaders are weighing the matter.
There have been no decisions.