US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has underscored the significance of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite service for Ukraine. In a recent interview, Blinken emphasized that Starlink has served as a crucial communication tool for the Ukrainian people, especially the military, in their efforts to defend the country’s territory.
Earlier, Elon Musk confirmed reports that he had temporarily disabled access to the Starlink satellite network over Crimea to disrupt a potential Ukrainian attack on the Russian navy. Blinken refrained from commenting on this specific incident but expressed his hope that the Starlink technology would remain fully available to the Ukrainians, given its vital role in their operations.
In his upcoming biography, Musk revealed that he took action to prevent SpaceX from being involved in a significant act of war and escalation. The book, written by Walter Isaacson, details how the Ukrainian drones lost connectivity and did not cause any harm due to Musk’s intervention. His concern was to prevent a “mini-Pearl Harbour” event.
Since Russia invaded Kyiv and disrupted Ukraine’s communication systems, Ukrainian troops have heavily relied on the Starlink services, which became accessible to them in early 2022.
When asked about possible diplomatic contacts between Musk and the Russian government, Blinken refrained from commenting, stating that he was unaware of any such conversations. He emphasized that the focus should be on the importance of the Starlink technology itself and ensuring that it continues to be available for communication purposes in Ukraine.
Blinken recently visited Kyiv and met with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, during which he announced an additional $1 billion in military and civilian aid for Ukraine. This visit occurred amid concerns from Western officials about the progress of Ukraine’s counter-offensive against Russia, which they described as slower than anticipated. Nonetheless, US officials maintain that notable progress has been made in recent days.