Elon Musk blocked Ukraine from using Starlink to launch missile attack on Russia
Tech mogul Elon Musk has revealed that he bloked Ukraine from using Starlink to launch a sneak drone attack at Russia, because he didn't want his service to used for an act of war.
Kyiv’s request to activate Starlink internet access in the Black Sea near Kremlin-annexed Crimea to power six small drone submarines packed with explosives to down a fleet of anchored Russian ships.
Because he didn't want to be complicit in an act of war, and believing the attack would garner a nuclear response Musk blocked the request.
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“There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol. The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor,” Musk said in a post on X.
He added: “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation."
Walter Isaacson, a Musk biographer, said in the Washington Post that in September last year: “The Ukrainian military was attempting a sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet based at Sevastopol in Crimea by sending six small drone submarines packed with explosives."
Musk had “spoken to the Russian ambassador to the United States … (who) had explicitly told him that a Ukrainian attack on Crimea would lead to a nuclear response,” Isaacson wrote.
Musk “secretly told his engineers to turn off coverage within 100 kilometers of the Crimean coast.
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"As a result, when the Ukrainian drone subs got near the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, they lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly”, according to Isaacson.
In another post on Thursday, Musk countered Isaacson’s account. “The Starlink regions in question were not activated. SpaceX did not deactivate anything,” Musk posted.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, said Musk’s intervention led to the deaths of civilians.
Slamming his "big ego", he said: “By not allowing Ukrainian drones to destroy part of the Russian fleet via Starlink interference, [Musk] allowed this fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities. As a result, civilians, and children are being killed,” Podolyak wrote on X.
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