Ukraine rips Elon Musk for disrupting sneak attack on Russian fleet with Starlink cutoff

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Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of Twitter, looks on as he attends the Viva Technology conference dedicated to innovation and startups at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, June 16, 2023.

Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters

WASHINGTON A Ukrainian official slammed Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for ordering engineers to shut off Starlink’s satellite network over Crimea last year in order to thwart a Ukrainian attack on Russian warships.

According to a new biography of Musk, the South African-born billionaire asked, “How am I in this war?” According to a new biography of Musk, the South African-born billionaire asked “How am I in this war?” In the early days after Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, Western governments were working to provide Kyiv artillery and systems for air defense, Musk’s Starlink Terminals first arrived in the country. The billionaire grew to dislike the deal. “Starlink was never meant to be involved with wars. According to the book, it was designed so that people could watch Netflix, chill out, and go online for school, and do peaceful things. Not drone strikes, Musk explained. The book, titled “Elon Musk,” will be released on Tuesday. The book, titled “Elon Musk,” will be released Tuesday.

A top aide to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lashed out at Musk over the revelation.

“By not allowing Ukrainian drones to destroy part of the Russian military fleet via Starlink interference, Elon Musk allowed this fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities,” Mykhailo Podolyak wrote Thursday on social media after CNN reported on some of the details from Isaacson’s book.

“As a result, civilians, children are being killed. “This is the price for a cocktail made of ignorance and big ego,” he said on X (formerly Twitter). Musk purchased Twitter last year. In the days following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, the Black Sea fleet fired missiles on once-industrious Ukrainian coastal cities while imposing a devasting naval blockade.

Ukraine digital minister Mykhailo Fedorov, who had asked Musk for Starlink capability on Twitter, posted that Starlink was “here” in Ukraine — with a

more than two dozen boxes in the back of a truck.

Starlink is SpaceX’s global network of more than 4,000 satellites that provide service to over 50 countries. In Ukraine, Starlink has worked as the connective tissue for crucial battlefield communications.

Isaacson added that Musk’s decision was discussed in 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.photo showingMusk, according to Isaacson, was also engaged in a texting conversation with Fedorov. According to Isaacson, the official asked Musk to restore Starlink connectivity to allow Ukrainian drones to attack Russia’s warships fleet. According to Isaacson, Musk said that if the Ukrainian attacks had succeeded in sinking the Russian fleet, it would have been like a mini Pearl Harbor and led to a major escalation. “