"As a result, civilians, children are being killed. This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego."
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has officially admitted to thwarting a Ukrainian attack on Russia's naval fleet near the Crimean coast by cutting off Starlink internet access at a crucial moment.
"There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol," the mercurial CEO tweeted after the revelation. "The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor."
Musk's purported goal was to avoid dragging SpaceX into an international war — despite donating tens of thousands of Starlink terminals to soldiers on the front lines, something that became a point of pride for the CEO at the time.
"If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation," Musk added.
But the decision had another obvious consequence as well: it gave an adversary a huge tactical advantage on the battlefield, directly implicating Musk in the ongoing conflict.
Earlier this week, an upcoming biography of Musk by writer Walter Isaacson revealed that Musk had ordered SpaceX to cut Ukrainian soldiers off from Starlink access after finding out submarine drones were on their way to attack Russian warships in Sevastopol.
"How am I in this war?" Musk asked Isaacson. "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."
It's yet another instance of Musk's unpredictable actions having huge international outcomes. Did Musk really not think of the eventuality of Starlink being used in active conflict?
Short-sighted or not, Starlink has quickly turned into a crucial tool in the Ukrainian front's arsenal. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s digital minister, recently told the New York Times that "Starlink is indeed the blood of our entire communication infrastructure now."
Unsurprisingly, the news of Musk's sabotage drew the ire of Ukrainian officials, with Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to president Volodymyr Zelensky, decrying the billionaire's "interference."
"As a result, civilians, children are being killed," he tweeted. "This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego."
More on the situation: Elon Musk Secretly Manipulated Starlink to Hamstring Ukrainian Attack Against Russia
Share This Article