Musk Denied Ukraine Starlink Access for Planned Attack on Russian Fleet
Summary from AllSides News Team
A new biography of tech billionaire Elon Musk states that last year, Musk “secretly told his engineers” to disable Starlink satellite coverage in a Ukrainian region, stifling a planned Ukrainian attack on a Russian fleet.
Details: Ukrainian forces were reportedly planning to use submarine drones equipped with explosives to attack docked Russian ships at a naval base in Russian-occupied Crimea. Ukrainian forces rely on Starlink, one of Musk’s companies, to operate the drones. The biography states that “when the Ukrainian drone subs got near the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, they lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly.”
Key Quotes: Musk took to X, formerly Twitter, to refute the biography's depiction of the events. He stated, “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. If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.” Musk added, “The Starlink regions in question were not activated. SpaceX did not deactivate anything.” Musk called for both sides to agree to a truce, stating, “Every day that passes, more Ukrainian and Russian youth die to gain and lose small pieces of land, with borders barely changing. This is not worth their lives.”
How the Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum are highlighting how the reports reveal the extent of Musk’s ability to influence the war.
Featured Coverage of this Story
From the LeftElon Musk says he denied Ukraine satellite request to avoid complicity in "major act of war" vs. Russia
Tech billionaire Elon Musk has said that he prevented a Ukrainian attack on a Russian Navy base last year by declining Kyiv's request to activate internet access in the Black Sea near Moscow-annexed Crimea. Satellite internet service Starlink, operated by Musk-owned company SpaceX, has been deployed in Ukraine since shortly after it was invaded by Russia in February 2022.
"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 posted...
From the CenterMusk acknowledges he turned off Starlink internet access last year during Ukraine attack on Russia military
Elon Musk on Thursday acknowledged turning off internet access from his Starlink satellites during a Ukrainian raid last year on a Russian naval fleet, saying he did so to prevent SpaceX from being “complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”
Musk responded on his social media platform X to new details from an upcoming book that indicated he ordered his engineers to shut off communications network before the attack off the Crimean coast.
“There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way...
From the RightNew book says Musk ordered Starlink satellites turned off during Ukrainian attack
A new biography of billionaire Elon Musk sheds light on how much control the tech mogul had over the war in Ukraine.
The book, written by biographer Walter Isaacson, says Mr. Musk secretly told his engineers last year to deactivate a Starlink network on the Crimean coast before a Ukrainian sneak attack against Russian forces in the area.
The Ukrainian military was using the satellites to communicate with anti-submarine drones. Once the Starlink network was deactivated, the submarines “washed ashore harmlessly,” according to the book.