The Controversial Role of Elon Musk in the Ukraine War: Explosive Details Revealed in Biography

2023-09-08 01:52:22

Elon Musk, the warlord?

Now the role of the eccentric tech billionaire in the Ukraine war is being examined more closely: bestselling author Walter Isaacson (71) delivers in the biography “Elon Musk” explosive details about the role of the multi-entrepreneur, who is admired by many but has recently become more and more controversial, in the armed conflict. As head of the company “Starlink”, which establishes Internet connections via satellites, the 52-year-old has become a powerful figure in the central war infrastructure of the Ukraine army.

When Russia cut communications ahead of the 2022 invasion, Musk offered help: Starlink (owned by SpaceX), provided “terminals” that enabled internet access from space. They became indispensable in Kiev’s military operations. Also for controlling drones. Musk then: a hero.

Antenna of a Starlink terminal in the Ukraine war

Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP

Musk was against attacks

But his own power quickly became uncanny for him. “How did I get into this war?” he heaved a deep sigh, according to Isaacson (who previously researched the life of Apple genius Steve Jobs). Starlink isn’t meant for “getting involved in wars,” he complained to the author: “People are supposed to use it to watch Netflix and relax, learn, do peaceful things, it’s not for drone attacks…”

Star author Walter Isaacson provided the most comprehensive biography of the tech billionaire to date

Photo: Verlag C.Bertelsmann

He quickly took matters into his own hands!

In a secret order, Musk instructed his technicians to shut down the Starlink system around Crimea, which Russia has occupied since 2014. In doing so, he thwarted an attack that had already been launched by the Ukrainians with submarine drones against the Russian navy stationed in Crimea. The drones “lost the connection and were harmlessly washed ashore,” says the book (publisher: Simon & Schuster, 832 pages).

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Almost with the strength of desperation, Kiev appealed to restore access to Starlink in the region. But Musk remained firm: He had feared a “second Pearl Harbor” (Japan’s surprise attack on US warships in Hawaii in 1941) because of the attack. And even a Russian retaliation with nuclear weapons! According to the book, the tech entrepreneur claims to have noticed such signals during talks with “high-ranking Russian officials”.

Starlink made him a global power figure

Musk, who because of his critical role was once on the phone with US Security Advisor Jake Sullivan (46), Chief of Staff Mark Milley (65) and the Russian Ambassador in Washington, became increasingly stubborn. He also didn’t want to pay for Starlink’s Ukraine aid for a while.

Musk’s company Starlink has already launched 4,500 satellites into space

Foto: picture alliance / ZUMAPRESS.com

One thing is clear: Musk, as a monopolist when it comes to satellite Internet, has long been a factor in world politics. Sometimes he seems to like this role: last year he posted a “peace plan” for the Ukraine war that sounded as if Putin had dictated it (Moscow keeps Crimea, Ukraine stays away from NATO). In early summer, Musk complained about the “senseless bloodshed”: “Russian and Ukrainian youth are dying in trenches – without significant land gains,” he tweeted.

The eccentric behavior of “shadow ruler” Musk (“The New Yorker”) is of increasing concern to Kiev and its allies. And Starlink remains irreplaceable on the battlefields of Ukraine.

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