Ukrainian Official Criticizes Elon Musk for Shutting Off Starlink in Crimea

A Ukrainian official has expressed strong disapproval towards Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, for instructing engineers to disable Starlink’s satellite network over Crimea last year. The move was intended to prevent a potential Ukrainian attack on Russian warships. The information was revealed in a new biography of Musk, where he questioned his involvement in the conflict during an interview with author Walter Isaacson.

In the early stages of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, Western governments were providing Kyiv with artillery and air defense systems. It was during this time that the first Starlink terminals arrived in Ukraine. However, Musk eventually changed his stance on the matter, stating, “Starlink was not created for wars. Its purpose was to allow people to watch Netflix, access the internet for educational purposes, and engage in peaceful activities, not drone strikes.” Musk expressed concerns that Ukraine’s attack on Russian vessels could lead to a nuclear war. The biography titled “Elon Musk” is set to be released on Tuesday.

The revelation prompted a strong response from a top aide to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Mykhailo Podolyak criticized Musk for preventing Ukrainian drones from destroying part of the Russian military fleet through Starlink interference. Podolyak claimed that Musk’s actions allowed the Russian fleet to launch missile attacks on Ukrainian cities, resulting in the loss of civilian lives. Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, is home to Russia’s Black Sea warships. Following Russia’s invasion in February 2022, the Black Sea fleet unleashed missiles on Ukrainian coastal cities while imposing a devastating naval blockade.

Starlink, a global network of over 4,000 satellites owned by SpaceX, provides internet service to more than 50 countries. In Ukraine, Starlink has played a crucial role in battlefield communications. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s digital minister, had previously requested Starlink capability from Musk on Twitter. Fedorov confirmed that Starlink had arrived in Ukraine, sharing a photo that depicted more than two dozen boxes in the back of a truck.

The biography also mentioned that Musk’s decision to disable Starlink was discussed during a phone call with President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley. Musk was also engaged in a texting conversation with Fedorov, who pleaded for the restoration of Starlink’s connectivity to enable Ukrainian submarine drones to attack the Russian warship fleet. Musk responded by expressing his belief that Ukraine was taking things too far and risking strategic defeat.

Previous articleKing’s Premium II: Free Upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X – Dynamic 4K, 60 FPS, Short Loading Times, and Improved Performance
Next articleBrazen Blaze: MyDearest Announces Exciting VR Multiplayer First-Person Shooter for 2024 Release
Clayton Turner is a news reporter and copy editor for 24PalNews. Born and raised in Virginia, Clayton graduated from Virginia Tech’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and majored in journalism.

Leave a Reply