Tech billionaire Elon Musk has said that he prevented a Ukrainian attack on a Russian Navy base last year by declining Kyiv's request to activate internet access in the Black Sea near Moscow-annexed Crimea.

Satellite internet service Starlink, operated by Musk-owned company SpaceX, has been deployed in Ukraine since shortly after it was invaded by Russia in February 2022.

"There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol. The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor," Musk posted Thursday on X, formerly named Twitter.

The city of Sevastopol is the base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet on the Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

"If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation," Musk said.


Musk was posting in response to a published excerpt of an upcoming biography of the tech tycoon by Walter Isaacson.

In the excerpt published by The Washington Post on Thursday, Isaacson wrote that in September last year, "The Ukrainian military was attempting a sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet based at Sevastopol in Crimea by sending six small drone submarines packed with explosives, and it was using Starlink to guide them to the target."

Musk had "spoken to the Russian ambassador to the United States... (who) had explicitly told him that a Ukrainian attack on Crimea would lead to a nuclear response," Isaacson wrote.

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Musk "secretly told his engineers to turn off coverage within 100 kilometers of the Crimean coast. As a result, when the Ukrainian drone subs got near the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, they lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly", according to Isaacson.

In another post on Thursday, Musk countered Isaacson's account.

"The Starlink regions in question were not activated. SpaceX did not deactivate anything," Musk posted.

Russia's ex-president and senior security official Dmitry Medvedev, in response to Isaacson's detailing of the incident, lauded Musk.


"(Musk) was concerned about a retaliatory nuclear strike," Medvedev posted on X Thursday.

"If what Isaacson has written in his book is true, then it looks like Musk is the last adequate mind in North America. Or, at the very least, in gender-neutral America, he is the one with the balls."

Musk also called Thursday for a truce in the conflict.

"Both sides should agree to a truce. Every day that passes, more Ukrainian and Russian youth die to gain and lose small pieces of land, with borders barely changing. This is not worth their lives," he posted.

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Comments (4)
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It seems to me that those who planned the drone attack had omitted to check that Starlink access would be available up to the target area and made a last minute request when they discovered their error. I also suspect that the US defence department were reluctant for such a major attack on Russian assets and a consequential response with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons; thereby finding themselves forced to invoke a NATO response.
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It's my understanding that the starlink used by Ukraine was donated, at a worth of $20 million per month until June of this year. Those who say he is pro-Russia - how much have you donated?
Joseph Swanson
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musk is a communist russian loving piece of filth.  He did not just order Starlink to be turned off...he had the system turned off on putin's birthday.
Ukraine defends itself and he claims escalation...russia has done nothing but escalation and he remains silent.
musk MAY have been promised exclusive rights to items such as aluminum and lithium in Eastern Ukraine for his commie clown cars. musk claims he allowed Starlink in Ukraine to be used to "watch netflix, learn, and chill." Who the hell watches netflix and chills in a nation at war?
Let's not forget this is the same musk who inherited blood money from his racist father who owned and operated minds in South Africa and exploited Africans. musk must remove himself and his garbage Starlink, which I said from day one would be used as a trojan horse against Ukraine, out of my nation and keep his uneducated opinions of "truce" to himself.  musk describes how he had a conversation with a russian official warning of a nuclear response in Crimea YET musk seems to think a "truce" is possible with the same people threatening nuclear annihilation of the world every other week.  musk clearly suffers from dunning kruger.

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@Joseph Swanson, It sure looks like Elon is Pro Stupid Putin. I thought more of Elon than that . I didn't know he was was a Morin like that Stupid Murdering Puti ...
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Isaacson who has degrees coming out of the yingyang, says he is neutral politically. He hangs around mostly with leftists and deals mostly with leftist politicians and corporations. That makes him a leftist.
Musk was once perceived to be on the left and liberals couldn’t get enough of him. Now he is a lizard because he is considered to be on the right. The comments of the writer directly below mine is a perfect example.
Musk has adequately explained his thinking with respect to this article, but he is wrong advocating for a ceasefire now.