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Musk says he has rejected Kiev’s request to use Starlink in an attack on Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Elon Musk said he rejected a Ukrainian request last year to activate his Starlink satellite network in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol to support an attack on the Russian fleet there, saying he feared complicity in a “major” act of war.

The billionaire businessman made the comment on his social media platform to disrupt.

In the post on He did not mention the date of the request and the extract does not mention this either.

“The obvious intention is to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor,” Musk wrote. “Had I acquiesced to their request, SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and escalation of conflict.”

Russia, which captured the strategic Crimean peninsula in 2014, bases its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol and has used the fleet in a de-factor blockade of Ukrainian ports since the large-scale invasion in 2022.

The Russian fleet is firing cruise missiles at Ukrainian civilian targets, and Kiev has launched attacks on Russian ships using maritime drones.

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According to CNN, Walter Isaacson’s new biography, “Elon Musk,” to be released Tuesday by Simon & Schuster, says that when Ukrainian explosive-laden submarine drones approached the Russian fleet last year, they “lost connectivity and washed up harmlessly.”

It said Musk’s decision, in which Ukrainian officials begged him to turn the satellites back on, was motivated by an acute fear that Russia would respond to a Ukrainian attack with nuclear weapons.

CNN said this, according to the biography, was based on Musk’s conversations with senior Russian officials and his fears of a “mini-Pearl Harbor.”

In August, a Russian warship was seriously damaged in a Ukrainian Navy drone strike on Russia’s Black Sea naval base in Novorossiysk, the first time the Ukrainian Navy has projected its power so far from the country’s coast.

SpaceX, through private donations and under a separate contract with a U.S. foreign aid agency, has provided Ukrainians and the country’s military with the Starlink Internet service, a rapidly growing network of more than 4,000 satellites in a low-cost space, since the early 20th century. orbit around the earth. war 2022.

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The Pentagon said in June that SpaceX’s Starlink had a Defense Department contract to buy satellite services for Ukraine.

A Pentagon spokesperson declined to comment on Musk’s decision but said: “The department continues to work closely with the commercial sector to ensure we have the appropriate capabilities the Ukrainians need to defend themselves.”

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Jonathan Landay and Phil Stewart; Editing by Don Durfee and Cynthia Osterman)

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