After Elon Musk’s Twitter tirade on an overly simplified solution to the Ukraine-Russia war, his company Starlink is now being questioned for its timely outage to Ukraine’s Internet service.

Ukrainian government officials anonymously spoke with Financial Times and revealed that Starlink had been offline multiple times in various instances when Ukraine was pushing toward Russia. The officials said this created a “catastrophic” loss of communication between troops.

Ukraine’s advantage over Russia has been its advanced communication lines and its support from satellites and drones in locating enemies. However, after Starlink stepped in to “donate” satellite internet access to Ukrainian troops.

V.S. Subrahmanian, a professor of computer science at Northwestern University, told Newsweek that Starlink stepped in after Russia “basically took out all of Ukraine’s military communications.”

“I think the fact that Starlink communications have been disrupted in the key theaters of battle right now, mainly the territories Ukraine is trying to take back…The fact that that’s gone is definitely placing a dent in Ukraine’s plans,” Subrahmanian added.

Subrahmanian added that there is little chance this was done by the Russians. Since Starlink has a high-precision ability, the connection was likely cut off on regions previously occupied by the Russians. So, when the Ukrainians came to liberate these regions, they could not connect to Starlink immediately.

Musk also took to Twitter to debunk FT’s claims, saying none of these happened and that this “donation” is costing him $80 million “and will exceed $100 by end of year.”

However, many called out Musk in case the cut in communication lines really happened.

“Evidently the Starlink system is down over the front lines of Ukraine. Elon Musk should make a statement about this, or, this should be investigated. This is a national security issue,” wrote Lt. Col. Adam Kinzinger.

At the same time, Musk was questioned for claiming he was putting $80 million out of his own pocket to fund this Ukrainian connection. However, a commenter said this satellite service was actually funded by the US administration.

Washington Post also supported this claim. However, at the time of the launch of the service SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told CNBC that they’re proud to “provide the terminals to folks in Ukraine,” and clarified that the US is not paying for the terminals.

“I don’t think the US has given us any money to give terminals to Ukraine.”

But, according to the documents obtained by The Technology 202, the US federal government is the one paying for the satellites.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has delivered 5,000 Starlink Terminals to the Government of Ukraine through a public-private partnership with the American aerospace manufacturer, SpaceX, a private sector donation valued at roughly $10 million.

SpaceX donated 3,667 terminals and the internet service itself, and USAID purchased the additional 1,333 terminals. The Starlink satellite terminals will enable unlimited, unthrottled data connectivity from anywhere in Ukraine. The terminals will allow public officials and critical citizen service providers to continue to communicate within Ukraine and with the outside world, even if Putin’s brutal aggression severs Ukraine’s fiber optic or cellular communication infrastructure connections.

We have yet to see Musk, SpaceX, or Starlink deny these claims.

As for the Ukrainian ground forces, Subrahmanian believes even if it happens again, it will not cause a long-term problem for the troops since their military “has multiple ways of getting information” to their soldiers.