Elon Musk, Chief Govt Officer of SpaceX and Tesla and proprietor of Twitter, seems on as he attends the Viva Know-how convention devoted to innovation and startups on the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris, France, June 16, 2023.
Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters
Writer Walter Isaacson took to social media to attempt to “make clear” an excerpt from his upcoming e-book, “Elon Musk.” The excerpt obtained swift backlash after it described how Musk thwarted a Ukrainian assault on Russian warships.
Isaacson’s e-book claims that Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, ordered engineers to close off Starlink’s satellite tv for pc community over Crimea final 12 months in an effort to disrupt a Ukrainian navy initiative. Musk’s Starlink terminals arrived within the early days of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as Western governments labored to produce Kyiv with artillery and air protection techniques.
Musk finally soured on the association and mentioned “Starlink was not meant to be concerned in wars,” in response to the e-book. The tech billionaire informed Isaacson he was apprehensive the Ukrainian assault on Russian vessels would provoke the Kremlin into launching a nuclear struggle.
However in a submit on X, previously often known as Twitter, late Friday, Isaacson shared new particulars.
“To make clear on the Starlink subject: the Ukrainians THOUGHT protection was enabled all the best way to Crimea, however it was not,” Isaacson wrote. “They requested Musk to allow it for his or her drone sub assault on the Russian fleet. Musk didn’t allow it, as a result of he thought, in all probability appropriately, that will trigger a serious struggle.”
Crimea is a peninsula on the Black Sea that Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and it’s house to Russia’s Black Sea warships. Within the days following Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022, the Black Sea fleet fired missiles on once-industrious Ukrainian coastal cities whereas imposing a devastating naval blockade.
Isaacson went additional in a second post on Saturday, saying that mentioned he “mistakenly” thought Musk made the choice to close off Starlink’s satellite tv for pc community on the night time of the assault.
“Primarily based on my conversations with Musk, I mistakenly thought the coverage to not enable Starlink for use for an assault on Crimea had been first selected the night time of the Ukrainian tried sneak assault that night time,” Isaacson mentioned. “He now says that the coverage had been carried out earlier, however the Ukrainians didn’t comprehend it, and that night time he merely reaffirmed the coverage.”
Isaacson’s X posts got here after a high aide to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lashed out at Musk over the excerpt.
“By not permitting Ukrainian drones to destroy a part of the Russian navy fleet through Starlink interference, Elon Musk allowed this fleet to fireside Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities,” Mykhailo Podolyak wrote Thursday on social media after CNN reported on a number of the particulars from Isaacson’s e-book.
“In consequence, civilians, youngsters are being killed. That is the worth of a cocktail of ignorance and large ego,” he added.
Isaacson’s full e-book is slated for launch on Tuesday.
Learn the complete excerpt about Starlink and Ukraine within the Washington Submit.
— CNBC’s Amanda Macias contributed to this report.