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Elon Musk Faces Accusations of Thwarting Ukrainian Drone Attack

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Edited by: TJVNews.com

Elon Musk, the tech billionaire known for his ventures such as SpaceX and Tesla, has found himself at the center of controversy after allegations emerged that he prevented a Ukrainian drone attack on a Russian fleet by disabling his Starlink satellite network, as was reported by the Post. The claims, detailed in a soon-to-be-published biography by Walter Isaacson, have elicited strong reactions from Ukrainian officials and Musk himself.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, took to social media to express his anger at Musk’s actions. The Post reported that he accused Musk of “committing evil” and suggested that the tech mogul’s interference was driven by a “cocktail of ignorance and big ego.” Podolyak argued that by preventing the drone attack on the Russian fleet, Musk indirectly allowed the naval ships to fire Kalibr missiles on Ukrainian cities, resulting in civilian casualties, the Post report added. He questioned why some individuals seemed so willing to defend war criminals and their violent intentions.

In response to the allegations, Musk denied turning off the Starlink satellites but acknowledged that they were not activated in the specific regions in question. He explained that government officials had made an emergency request to activate Starlink satellites up to the port of Sevastopol in Russia-annexed Crimea. Musk refused this request, citing concerns that allowing the attack to proceed would implicate SpaceX in a major act of war and conflict escalation, the Post report added.

Facing backlash, Musk responded to the claims in Walter Isaacson’s soon-to-be published book, “Elon Musk,” from which excerpts were featured by CNN Thursday, the Post reported.

The 52-year-old business tycoon denied turning off the satellites — but admitted he wouldn’t allow the planned attack to go forward.

According to the biography by Isaacson, Musk believed that if the attack had succeeded, Moscow would have responded by deploying nuclear weapons, as was reported by the Post.  Musk reportedly stated that Starlink’s satellite constellation, consisting of 2,200 satellites, was not intended for use in wars but rather for peaceful purposes such as internet access, education, and entertainment.

This controversy comes in the wake of comments made by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, who accused Ukraine of “weaponizing” their internet service, referring to their use of Starlink satellites for military purposes, the Post report noted. While it remains unclear if Shotwell was specifically addressing the thwarted Crimea attack, her statements raised concerns about the satellite network’s involvement in the conflict.

In October 2022, Musk called on the Pentagon to take over the funding of the Starlink network operating in Ukraine, initially arguing that Russia should be allowed to retain Crimea as part of a peace deal. However, the Post reported that he later reversed this stance and continued to cover the costs of Ukraine’s satellite internet service, which has been crucial for the war-torn nation.

The allegations surrounding Musk’s role in preventing the drone attack highlight the complex ethical and geopolitical challenges faced by technology companies operating in regions affected by conflict. While Musk’s actions were driven by a desire to avoid further escalation, they have raised questions about the role of private entities in international conflicts and the responsibilities they bear in such situations.

 

 

 

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