Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, issued instructions to shut down the Starlink satellite network over the Crimean Peninsula last year.
This was done with the aim of avoiding a possible attack by Ukrainian forces on Russian warships.
Musk confirmed that this measure had prevented a Ukrainian attack on a Russian naval base in Sevastopol, as he rejected a request from Kiev to activate Internet access via the Starlink satellite system.
Musk said in a tweet , “We received an urgent request from government authorities to activate Starlink up to Sevastopol… The clear intention was to sink most of the Russian fleet anchored there”.
The Internet service, which operates via the Starlink satellite network, developed by the “SpaceX” company, was launched in Ukraine after the start of the war with Russia in February 2022, and it has become an important tool for communication and coordination of hostilities for the Ukrainians.
It should be noted that the city of Sevastopol is the center of the base of the Russian fleet in the Black Sea on the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Elon Musk indicated in his tweet that the implementation of the Ukrainian request to activate the Starlink service would be interference in the conflict and an escalation of the situation.
He explained that this wasn’t the intended goal of the service, but rather its aim was to enable people to use the Internet peacefully and enjoy watching videos and communicating with the world in general, and not to direct attacks with drones.
This new revelation points to the unconventional interventions of big tech companies in global events and geopolitical matters, and shows the impact of technology on modern-day political and military conflicts.