During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Secretary of State Antony Blinken avoided answering questions about billionaire Elon Musk’s involvement in undermining a planned Ukrainian attack against Russia’s navy. Reports state that Musk admitted to interfering with Ukraine’s military communications in 2022 by intentionally blocking Starlink, his satellite communications network, in the Crimean coast region where Ukrainian submarines were set to launch an attack on Russia’s naval fleet. As a result, the subs lost connectivity and Russia continued its missile attacks on Ukrainian cities.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, condemned Musk’s actions, stating that it led to the loss of civilian lives. Tapper raised this issue during the interview, asking Blinken if there should be repercussions for Musk’s interference in a military operation of a US ally against an aggressor nation. However, Blinken chose not to provide a direct answer.
While Blinken acknowledged the importance of Starlink for Ukrainian communication efforts, he did not address whether Musk should face consequences for sabotaging a military operation. Tapper pressed him further about Musk’s alleged private conversations with Russian officials, including President Putin. Blinken responded by stating that he couldn’t address specific conversations and emphasized the significance of Starlink for Ukraine’s defense.
Later, Tapper confronted Blinken again, suggesting that the US government might be hesitant to offend Musk due to the importance of Starlink. Throughout the interview, Blinken avoided making any comments on the potential repercussions for Musk’s actions.
It is worth noting that the situation highlights the delicate balance between strategic interests, private space initiatives, and international diplomacy.