Elon Musk is said to have secretly ordered the shutdown of his company’s Starlink satellite network near Crimea to thwart a Ukrainian attack on the Russian fleet, as detailed in an excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s new biography on Musk. Musk’s decision was driven by fears that a Ukrainian attack would provoke a Russian nuclear response, fears further stoked by conversations with Russian officials. The incident highlights Musk’s influential role in the Ukraine conflict and the strategic importance of Starlink. Musk responded to these claims by emphasizing that he never activated Starlink over Crimea, but rather responded to an “emergency request” from Ukrainian officials.
- Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography reveals Elon Musk’s interference with the Ukrainian attack by turning off Starlink satellites near Crimea.
- Musk feared a nuclear retaliation by Russia if Ukraine succeeded in their naval assault.
- After Russia disrupted Ukraine’s communication systems in 2022, Musk provided Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine, crucial for their military operations.
- Musk faced internal and external pressures, communicating with both US and Russian officials about the Starlink involvement in the war.
- Despite initial intentions of Musk covering the costs for satellite equipment, a deal was eventually struck with the US and European governments to fund satellite dishes for Ukraine.