Elon Musk deactivated Starlink to prevent Ukraine from attacking the Russian fleet in Crimea

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A new biography about Elon Musk written by journalist Walter Isaacson, a chapter of which CNN has revealed, reveals that the owner of Starlink asked his engineers to disable the Starlink satellites used by Ukraine to thwart an attack by Ukrainian forces against the Russian military fleet near the coast of Crimea.

According to the book, Musk ignored the Ukrainians' pleas to restore connectivity and ended up thwarting the attack. The billionaire would have made this decision out of fear that Russia would respond with nuclear weapons to an attack on Crimea. Ukraine has repeatedly attacked Crimea by various means without resulting in a nuclear response from Russia.

If I had accepted their request, SpaceX would be complicit in an act of war

Elon MuskSouth African businessman

The tycoon, for his part, assures that the satellite network was already inactive in this region, so "SpaceX did not deactivate anything," he noted this Friday in X. According to Musk, the Ukrainian authorities asked him to activate Starlink until Sebastopol , capital of the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. "The obvious intention was to sink most of the anchored Russian fleet. If I had accepted their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and an escalation of the conflict ", the businessman has detailed.

Beyond the controversy surrounding the technical issue of activation or deactivation, Musk's non-collaboration with Ukraine is consistent with his expressed position on the war. The tycoon has criticized the sending of weapons to Ukraine and has asked Kyiv to cede part of its territory to Russia. The entrepreneur of South African origin has also received criticism for joking on his social network with Russian leaders known for their virulent attacks against Ukrainians such as Dmitri Medvedev.

Ukraine believes that the tycoon acts motivated "by ignorance and a huge ego"

Ukraine today criticized Musk for limiting its use of Starlink: “there are civilians dying because of that.” Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhailo Podoliak has accused the American billionaire of facilitating the murder of civilians and children with his decision to disable satellites of this type used by the Ukrainian Army.

“Sometimes a mistake is much more than a mistake. By not allowing, with interference in the Starlink, Ukrainian drones to destroy a part of the Russian military fleet, Elon Musk allowed this fleet to launch Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities,” Podoliak wrote on the social network X, which is also owned from Musk.

The Ukrainian presidential advisor has attributed Musk's attitude towards Ukraine to "ignorance and a huge ego." “The question, however, remains: why do some people want to so desperately defend war criminals?” Podoliak has written.

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