In a shocking development, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has targeted billionaire Elon Musk for allegedly indirectly allowing Russian forces to attack Ukrainian cities after a new biography revealed details about how he refused to grant Kyiv permission to use Starlink satellite network, which stopped a drone attack on Russian warships last year.
Podolyak said Musk's alleged act led to the deaths of civilians, including children.
Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on X, a platform which is also owned by Musk: "Sometimes a mistake is much more than just a mistake. By not allowing Ukrainian drones to destroy part of the Russian military (!) fleet via #Starlink interference, @elonmusk allowed this fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities."
"As a result, civilians, children are being killed. This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego. However, the question still remains: why do some people so desperately want to defend war criminals and their desire to commit murder? And do they now realize that they are committing evil and encouraging evil?" he said.
Details of the incident have been mentioned in a biography of Musk, written by Walter Isaacson.
Also Read: Ukraine: Child among 17 dead in suspected Russian missile strike in Kostyantynivka marketplace
Elon Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his company’s Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year to disrupt a Ukrainian sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet, according to an excerpt adapted from Walter Isaacson’s new biography, CNN reported.
As Ukrainian submarine drones strapped with explosives approached the Russian fleet, they “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly,” excerpt from the biography read.
Musk’s decision, which left Ukrainian officials begging him to turn the satellites back on, was driven by an acute fear that Russia would respond to a Ukrainian attack on Crimea with nuclear weapons, a fear driven home by Musk’s conversations with senior Russian officials, according to Isaacson, whose new book is set to be released by Simon & Schuster on September 12, the American news channel reported.
Meanwhile, Walter Isaacson wrote on X on Saturday: "To clarify on the Starlink issue: the Ukrainians THOUGHT coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but it was not. They asked Musk to enable it for their drone sub attack on the Russian fleet. Musk did not enable it, because he thought, probably correctly, that would cause a major war."
Musk responded to the post and wrote: "Much appreciated, Walter.The onus is meaningfully different if I refused to act upon a request from Ukraine vs. made a deliberate change to Starlink to thwart Ukraine."
"At no point did I or anyone at SpaceX promise coverage over Crimea. Moreover, our terms of service clearly prohibit Starlink for offensive military action, as we are a civilian system, so they were again asking for something that was expressly prohibited," he said.
Russia began the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.