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Elon Musk disrupted Ukrainian attack on Crimea in 2022 by turning off Starlink – CNN

Thursday, 7 September 2023, 17:48

In 2022, Elon Musk secretly ordered the Starlink satellite connection near the coast of Russian-occupied Crimea to be shut down in order to disrupt an attack by Ukraine on the Russian naval fleet at Sevastopol.

Source: CNN, which has gained access to an extract from Musk’s biography by American journalist and writer Walter Isaacson, which will officially go on sale on 12 September

The excerpt states that in 2022 Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off a satellite connection network near the Crimean coast in order to disrupt an uncrewed surface vessel (USV) attack by Ukraine on the Russian naval fleet in Sevastopol.

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According to Isaacson, the Ukrainian USVs loaded with explosives "approached the Russian fleet" but then "washed ashore harmlessly".

Isaacson says Musk’s decision was motivated by his fear of a possible Russian strike in response. Musk had apparently spoken to Russian officials and believed that Russia could use nuclear weapons in this kind of situation.

In the biography, Musk explains that the satellite network is not designed to be used in conflicts.

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"Starlink was [created] so that people could watch Netflix and chill, and get online at school, and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes," the excerpt reads.

The Ukrainian side allegedly tried to convince Musk, but he did not give in.

CNN was unable to obtain a comment from Musk himself to confirm the story.

Background: It was reported on 30 July 2023 that the US Department of Defense was willing to purchase 400-500 Starlink terminals from Musk’s company. The Department will be able to determine when and where they may be used.

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