Elon Musk Accused of Sabotaging Ukrainian Drone Strike on Russian Ship Near Crimea Using Starlink Network”
Kyiv’s plan to execute a drone strike on a Russian navy ship at a Black Sea base in occupied Crimea was allegedly thwarted by Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX. Musk reportedly denied the Ukrainian military access to his Starlink satellite network, which had previously been offered to Kyiv for war-time communications support. The New York Times reported that this denial led to the cancellation of the planned attack.
Following the failed strike, Ukraine’s army chief, Valery Zaluzhnyi, reportedly expressed concerns about Musk’s ability to dictate military capabilities and interfere with planned attacks on key Russian targets. Despite Musk’s assertion that the technology is meant for peaceful use only, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell had announced earlier that the company was restricting Ukraine’s use of Starlink for military purposes.
However, Ukraine’s military had been utilizing Starlink technology to pilot drones carrying anti-tank grenades, resulting in the destruction of Russian tanks and army trucks. Kyiv has also employed ‘kamikaze’ drones and seafaring drones to target Russian warships and infrastructure.
The controversy arises as Starlink’s terms of service expressly state that the technology should not be used for offensive or defensive weaponry. Nonetheless, the situation highlights the complex and evolving relationship between technology providers, military applications, and international conflicts.