Espreso. Global
Updated

Musk comments on Starlink shutdown near Crimea, Ukraine responds

8 September, 2023 Friday
15:00

American billionaire Elon Musk confirms that Starlink did not operate near the temporarily occupied Crimea so that the Ukrainian Armed Forces could not strike at the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Ukraine is outraged

client/title.list_title

Musk said this in his comments on X (Twitter). 

In response to the information that the SpaceX founder had turned off the system, he clarified that it did not work in Crimea at all.  

"The Starlink regions in question were not activated. SpaceX did not deactivate anything," he wrote.

At the same time, Musk confirmed that he had rejected Ukraine's request to activate Starlink because of concerns about a possible attack against the Russian fleet.

"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 explained.

The day before, CNN reported that writer Walter Isaacson wrote about the Starlink shutdown in Elon Musk's biography.

"As Ukrainian submarine drones strapped with explosives approached the Russian fleet, they lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly," Isaacson writes.

It is noted that the businessman tried to prevent the covert operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine because he feared that Russia would use nuclear weapons in response to the attack on Crimea.

The biographer noted that Musk's concern about a "mini-Pearl Harbor" was not justified in Crimea. According to him, this episode reveals the unique position in which Musk found himself during the war in Ukraine, as he became an influential agent that US officials could not ignore.

The biographer noted that when Ukraine started using Starlink terminals for offensive actions against Russia, Musk began to rethink the decision to provide the systems to our country.

"Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes," the businessman said.

Isaacson said in the book that after a conversation with Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation, in which he urged Musk to re-enable drone access to Starlink, the businessman replied that he was "impressed with the design of the submarine drones but that he wouldn’t turn satellite coverage back on for Crimea because Ukraine was now going too far and inviting strategic defeat."

After that, in October last year, Musk refused to pay the bills for Starlink terminals because 

"SpaceX had spent tens of millions of its own money sending the satellite equipment to Ukraine". However, later, particularly after the Pentagon announced its readiness to pay for the system, the businessman changed his mind and continued to pay for Starlink support in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s response

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of Ukraine’s Office of the President, called Musk's actions a mixture of ignorance and a big ego, which resulted in large human casualties.

"Sometimes a mistake is much more than just a mistake. 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. As a result, civilians, children are being killed. This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego," he wrote.

"However, the question still remains: why do some people so desperately want to defend war criminals and their desire to commit murder? And do they now realize that they are committing evil and encouraging evil?" Podolyak added.

Elon Musk and the disconnection of Starlink in Ukraine

In October 2022, a series of provocative tweets appeared on Elon Musk's verified account. In particular, he suggested how peace could be achieved in Ukraine and offered to support or not his proposal. Among the points published in Musk's poll are "to hold another referendum in the Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russia" and "to give Crimea to Russia". In his comments, Musk was offered to demilitarize Russia and advised to learn history.

On October 14, SpaceX informed the Pentagon that it refuses to fund Starlink satellite communications services in Ukraine. In addition, the letter also asked the Pentagon to take over funding for Ukraine's government and military use of the Starlink system, which SpaceX claims will cost more than $120 million by the end of the year and could cost about $400 million over the next 12 months.

The Pentagon commented on the Starlink situation and assured that Ukraine would continue to have everything it needs on the battlefield.

On October 24, Musk said that Starlink would continue to operate in Ukraine even if the Pentagon refused to fund it.

Tags:
Read also:
  • News
2024, Sunday
16 June
19:15
New peace summit to be held in months - Zelenskyy
18:58
Canada allocates $15 million to return Ukrainian children from Russia 
18:18
Exclusive
Returning Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant to Ukrainian control, full prisoner exchange: Espreso correspondent on Peace Summit Communiqué
17:53
Peace Summit communiqué: which countries signed
17:30
OPINION
Russia must be disarmed and nuclear-free
16:55
Russia raises taxes to pay for war against Ukraine - British intelligence
16:18
UAE announces intention to conclude partnership agreement with Ukraine and resume trade
15:58
Palau, Ukraine establish diplomatic relations
15:39
Lithuania proposes special tribunal to try Russia
14:59
"Success loves silence": Azov confirms late April advance in Serebrianka Forest
14:42
Ukrainian forces hold defense against Russian attacks in Pokrovsk direction – Ukraine’s General Staff
13:55
OPINION
New European Parliament: Far-right triumph could still happen
13:19
Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, ports, POWS: Ukraine Peace Summit declaration outline
12:39
"I will have that settled": Trump criticizes U.S. aid to Ukraine
11:58
Exclusive
Ukrainian forces seize tactical initiative in Kharkiv region - 92nd Brigade's battalion commander
11:28
Russia doesn't want Its prisoners of war back – Ukraine’s Human Rights Commissioner
10:40
Russia loses 6 armored vehicles, 58 artillery systems and over 1,100 soldiers in one day in Ukraine
2024, Saturday
15 June
19:55
IOC admits 25 'neutral' athletes from Russia, Belarus to 2024 Olympics
19:30
Exclusive
Putin accelerates final decision to send Western aircraft to Ukraine with massive attacks - political analyst
19:07
Exclusive
Ukraine's partners' entry into war is matter of time - diplomat Bezsmertnyi
18:45
Russian troops encircled at aggregate plant in Vovchansk - media
18:26
Russia offers abducted Ukrainian children money for moving to any of its cities - media
18:04
Exclusive
Putin's task now is to hold on to some kind of 'honorable draw' - political scientist Piontkovsky
17:42
Ukraine to present peace plan to Russia after Swiss summit - Ukraine's top official
17:23
Ukraine has right to destroy legitimate military targets in Russia - Stoltenberg
17:11
Updated
Swedish fighter jets intercept Russian aircraft in sky, MFA to summon Russian diplomats
17:04
Russia retreats in Serebryansky forest, Klishchiiivka - DeepState
16:46
Exclusive
West stops responding to Putin's nuclear blackmail - political scientist Piontkovsky
16:25
Exclusive
Negotiations are tool of war for Putin - Ukrainian diplomat
16:07
First news from Peace Summit: US allocates $1.5 billion to Ukraine
15:49
Polish President Duda comments on Putin's crushing ceasefire demands
15:27
OPINION
Frightened Putin's conditions
15:04
White Angels group comes under Russian UAV attack during evacuation in Avdiivka sector
14:45
Ukraine's General Staff reports 31 firefights at front
14:22
Review
Putin's new manipulations, aid from Germany, deal with US. Weekly military results by Serhiy Zgurets
13:54
Exclusive
About 20% of Ukrainians ready to give up NATO membership for end to war
13:08
OPINION
Peace Summit: China's absence doesn't look smart
12:40
Russia drops about 3,500 guided bombs on civilian infrastructure per month - Zelenskyy
12:17
Exclusive
Everyone to be involved in national resistance: Legion of Freedom on Ukraine's goal to reach 1991 borders
11:55
Russian forces build new fortifications along Mariupol-Donetsk highway
More news