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Ukrainian Official Slams Elon Musk for Shutting Off Starlink in Crimea to Thwart Attack: New Biography Reveals

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Ukrainian Official Criticizes Elon Musk for Shutting Off Starlink Network to Thwart Attack

A Ukrainian official has expressed disapproval towards Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, for instructing engineers to disable Starlink’s satellite network over Crimea in order to prevent a Ukrainian attack on Russian warships. According to a biography of Musk written by Walter Isaacson, the billionaire questioned his involvement in the conflict during an interview. Musk had initially provided Starlink terminals to Ukraine as it faced Russia’s invasion, but later became concerned about the situation.

Musk stated that Starlink was never intended to be used for warfare, but rather for peaceful purposes such as internet access and entertainment. He feared that the Ukrainian attack on Russian vessels could escalate into a nuclear war. These details are included in Isaacson’s book, titled “Elon Musk,” which will be published soon.

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Following the revelation, a senior aide to Ukraine’s President criticized Musk for allowing the Russian military fleet to launch missile attacks on Ukrainian cities by interfering with Starlink. The aide accused Musk of prioritizing his ego over the lives of civilians. It is worth noting that Crimea, a region annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014, houses the country’s Black Sea warships. During Russia’s invasion, these warships targeted Ukrainian coastal cities and imposed a devastating naval blockade.

Ukraine’s digital minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, who had requested Starlink’s assistance on Twitter, confirmed that the network was operational in Ukraine. He shared a photo showing dozens of Starlink boxes in the back of a truck. Starlink, a global network of over 4,000 satellites developed by SpaceX, offers its services to more than 50 countries. In Ukraine, it has played a vital role in battlefield communications.

Isaacson mentioned that Musk’s decision was discussed in a phone call with Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, and General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Musk also engaged in a text conversation with Fedorov, who pleaded for the restoration of Starlink connectivity to enable Ukrainian submarine drones to attack the Russian warship fleet. Musk, however, believed that Ukraine’s actions were excessive and could lead to a major escalation of the conflict, comparing it to a mini Pearl Harbor. Consequently, he chose not to support the attack.

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