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Musk says he restricted Ukraine’s use of Starlink to prevent World War III

Musk says he restricted Ukraine’s use of Starlink to prevent World War III

eccentric millionaire Elon Musk he promised prevent Ukraine’s use of the Starlink network from escalating the conflict. The owner of SpaceX, Twitter and Tesla initially supported Ukraine with the Constellation Satellite Internet System, but eventually scaled back support despite much criticism in the West.

“Starlink is Ukraine’s communication backbone, especially on the front lines, where almost all other Internet connectivity has been destroyed. But we will not allow the escalation of conflict that could lead to World War III,” Musk wrote on Twitter on February 13.

SpaceX previously announced that it had restricted Ukraine’s access to Starlink satellite communications to control drones, as the network was “never intended to be weaponized.”

Musk likely believed he would boost his image and SpaceX’s reputation by providing services to Ukraine. In the West, it certainly did. However, the moment Musk realized that the Ukrainian military was using its technology to increase its combat capabilities, it was inevitable that Kiev would be cut off, as it would negatively affect the long-term business prospects of the ‘company, especially when trying to expand into other countries no. western markets.

Now the Twitter boss is facing a barrage of criticism for limiting the use of Starlink in Ukraine, but from the point of view of his business interests, it is a pragmatic decision. In fact, it was former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s tweets that prompted Musk to once again comment on the use of Starlink in Ukraine.

Kelly on Feb. 11 called on Musk to “restore your Starlink satellites to full functionality.”

“Defending a genocidal invasion is not an offensive capability. It’s survival,” tweeted Kelly, whose twin brother, Mark Kelly, is of course a Democratic U.S. senator from Arizona. A day later, Musk tweeted that “Starlink is Ukraine’s communications backbone,” before saying SpaceX “will not allow escalation of conflict that could lead to World War III.”

“We have not exercised our right to disable them,” Musk stressed in a separate tweet.

The Twitter exchange came after SpaceX’s president Gwynne Shotwell he said the company has been “very pleased to be able to provide connectivity to Ukraine and help them in their fight for freedom”, but that Starlink “was never intended to be weaponised”.

“The Ukrainians have taken advantage of it in ways that were not intended and were not part of any agreement, so we have to work on that in Starlink,” Shotwell said, speaking at a space conference in Washington on February 8.

Shotwell stressed that using Starlink as a communications system “for the military is fine, but it was never our intention that they use it for offensive purposes.” He referred to reports about Ukraine using Starlink “on drones”.

“I will not go into details; there are things we can do to limit their ability to do that … there are things we can do and have done,” he added.

It was Elon Musk who put himself between a rock and a hard place by getting involved in the Ukraine conflict. As stated, it was probably an impulsive decision in the belief that it would boost SpaceX’s image, but then cold hard economic factors have forced a humiliating partial withdrawal from Ukraine.

Musk first responded to the call for help made by Ukraine Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov in early 2022 by sending 20,000 SpaceX Starlink terminals to the country. Due to Russia’s effectiveness in taking out Ukraine’s telecommunications infrastructure with missile strikes, the country relied on SpaceX’s technology for uninterrupted and secure Internet access.

“Over 100 cruise missiles hit power and communications infrastructure. But with Starlink we quickly restored connectivity in critical areas. Starlink remains an essential part of critical infrastructure,” Fedorov tweeted on October 12.

Despite the endless praise, Musk expressed reservations on Jan. 31 about the Ukrainian military’s use of Starlink to fly drones carrying anti-tank grenades over Russian positions. He stressed that he would “not allow” the practice to continue.

“SpaceX Starlink has become Ukraine’s backbone of connectivity to the front line. However, we do not allow Starlink to be used for long-range drone strikes. It’s damned if you don’t part with it,” he tweeted

Mykailo Podolyaksenior adviser to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskytried to put pressure on Starlink in usual arrogant Kiev fashion by issuing an ultimatum:

“Either they are on the side of Ukraine and the right to freedom, and they are not looking for ways to do harm. Or they are on the side of RF and their “right” to kill and seize territories. SpaceX (Starlink) and the Mrs. Shotwell should choose a specific option.

However, Musk has made his position clear, tweeting on September 16: “Starlink is intended for peaceful use only.” This is also aligned with Starlink’s terms of service, which state: “Starlink is not designed or intended for use with or in offensive or defensive weaponry or other comparable end uses.”

It is recalled that in October, Musk caused controversy in the Western world when he tweeted his peace proposal, which included territorial concessions to Russia and for Ukraine to be neutral.

“Redo the elections of the annexed regions under the supervision of the UN. Russia leaves if this is the will of the people,” Musk said. “Crimea is formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake). Water supply in Crimea is guaranteed. Ukraine remains neutral. This is very likely to be the outcome in the end, just a matter of how many die first. It is also worth noting that one possible, albeit unlikely, outcome of this conflict is nuclear war.”

It is here that we first see Musk trying to recover from the mistake he made by involving his company in the war. By deciding to get unnecessarily involved in a major geopolitical and military issue, he is now drawing criticism and condemnation from across the Western world for curtailing support for Ukraine, while at the same time setting in stone distrust of any potential future clients from the non-Western world. . .

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