In a stunning revelation from the upcoming biography of Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson, it has been alleged that Musk ordered the shutdown of his Starlink satellite communications network during a critical moment. According to an excerpt quoted by CNN, this decision was made to thwart a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian warships near the Crimean coast, leading to the drones losing connectivity and ultimately washing ashore harmlessly.
The biography, set to be released soon, sheds light on Musk’s concerns at the time. It suggests that Musk took this drastic step out of fear that a Ukrainian attack on Russian-occupied Crimea could provoke a nuclear response from Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Musk was reportedly of the opinion that Ukraine had crossed a line by threatening a “strategic defeat” for the Kremlin.
This particular episode reveals a lesser-known aspect of Elon Musk’s involvement in geopolitics. While Musk’s willingness to assist Ukraine with Starlink hardware initially seemed like a humanitarian gesture in response to Russia’s invasion, his stance appears to have shifted as the conflict escalated.
Musk’s motivation, as outlined in the biography, appears to be rooted in his original vision for Starlink. He envisioned the satellite network as a tool for peaceful purposes, such as providing internet access and educational opportunities, rather than being embroiled in matters of warfare.
Notably, this is not the first time Musk has threatened to withdraw Starlink communications during the conflict, but it is the first instance where he is alleged to have cut off Ukrainian forces during a specific operation. The exact date of this incident remains unspecified.
During the drone attack, Mykhailo Fedorov, one of Ukraine’s deputy prime ministers, reportedly reached out to Musk, pleading for the restoration of Starlink communications. However, Musk stood firm in his decision, believing that Ukraine had ventured too far and was inviting strategic defeat.
It’s worth mentioning that Elon Musk has previously expressed views on Ukraine that align with certain Russian perspectives, including suggesting that parts of eastern Ukraine should be handed over to Russia, purportedly reflecting “the will of the people.”
This revelation comes in the wake of a European Commission study that pointed to Twitter, under Musk’s ownership, playing a significant role in the dissemination of Russian propaganda regarding the Ukraine war. The study indicated that Twitter’s adjustment of safety standards had contributed to the reach and influence of Kremlin-backed accounts.
As this biography prepares to hit the shelves, the allegations within it are likely to fuel discussions about Musk’s role in international affairs and the impact of his technology ventures on geopolitics. It remains to be seen how this revelation will be received and whether further details will emerge to shed more light on this intriguing chapter in Elon Musk’s life.