Newsweek, September 2023
What happened to Elon Musk this past week showcases how completely unhinged and dangerous U.S. policy to Ukraine has become. The condemnation began when the Washington Post published excerpts from a new biography on Musk revealing that he turned down a Ukrainian request to help launch a major sneak attack in September 2022 on the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
There were numerous, legitimate reasons why Musk refused to activate his Starlink internet services for Ukraine to carry out the unprecedented, surprise attack on Russian naval vessels: Musk was providing terminals to Ukraine for free; he was not on a military contract at that time; the late-night request came directly from the Ukrainian—not American—government; and Starlink had never been activated over Crimea because of U.S. sanctions on Russia. Most importantly, Musk was concerned that enabling the attack could result in serious “conflict escalation.” He worried that he was being asked to turn on Starlink for a “Pearl Harbor like attack” and had no wish to “proactively take part in a major act of war,” possibly provoking a Russian nuclear response.