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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Elon Musk Acknowledges Withholding Starlink Service to Thwart Ukrainian Assault

Elon Musk has acknowledged that he denied satellite tv for pc web service with a view to forestall a Ukrainian drone assault on a Russian naval fleet final yr, prompting an offended response from a Ukrainian official.

The Starlink satellite tv for pc web service, which is operated by Mr. Musk’s rocket firm SpaceX, has been a digital lifeline in Ukraine for the reason that early days of the warfare for each civilians and troopers in areas the place digital infrastructure has been worn out.

On Thursday, CNN reported that an excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography, “Elon Musk” stated the billionaire had ordered the deactivation of Starlink satellite tv for pc service close to the coast of Crimea final September to thwart the Ukrainian assault. The excerpt stated that Mr. Musk had conversations with a Russian official that led him to fret that an assault on Crimea might spiral right into a nuclear battle.

Afterward Thursday, Mr. Musk responded on his social media platform to say that he hadn’t disabled the service however had quite refused to adjust to an emergency request from Ukrainian officers to allow Starlink connections to Sevastopol on the occupied Crimean peninsula. That was in impact an acknowledgment that he had made the choice to forestall a Ukrainian assault.

“The apparent intent being to sink a lot of the Russian fleet at anchor,” he wrote on X, previously referred to as Twitter. “If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX could be explicitly complicit in a significant act of warfare and battle escalation.”

That drew an offended response from Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. Mr. Musk’s “interference,” he stated, had allowed Russia’s naval fleet to proceed firing cruise missiles at Ukrainian cities.

“In consequence, civilians, youngsters are being killed. That is the worth of a cocktail of ignorance and large ego,” he wrote on X.

Inside days of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Mr. Musk despatched Starlink terminals to the nation in response to public pleas from Ukrainian officers. All through the warfare, the connectivity supplied by Starlink has been pivotal for Ukraine to coordinate drone strikes and collect intelligence.

The greater than 42,000 Starlink terminals are additionally in use by hospitals, companies and assist organizations throughout Ukraine.

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