Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023
Secretary Blinken: Starlink Crucial for Ukraine’s Communication and Defense Efforts

State Secretary Antony Blinken has addressed concerns regarding Elon Musk’s decision to turn off Starlink internet access during a Ukrainian attack on Russia. While Blinken refrained from speaking on a specific incident, he emphasized the significance of Starlink in facilitating communication among Ukrainians and aiding the military’s defense efforts.

Blinken’s comments followed Musk’s acknowledgment that he had blocked internet access from Starlink satellites during a Ukrainian raid on a Russian naval fleet. Musk stated that this action was taken to prevent SpaceX from being complicit in escalating conflict and a major act of war.

Details about the incident were revealed in an excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s upcoming book on Musk, titled “Elon Musk.” According to the book, Musk ordered engineers to shut off the communications network prior to the attack due to concerns that Russia might respond with a nuclear weapon.

Starlink has been a vital service for Ukrainian troops in their fight against Russia. It was provided to Kyiv in early 2022 after Russia disrupted Ukraine’s communications systems. Despite the potential diplomatic implications, Blinken stated that he could not speak to any conversations Musk may or may not have had with the Russian government.

Blinken highlighted the importance of considering Russia’s potential response to actions taken by the United States, Ukraine, or others. He also noted Ukraine’s significant progress over the past year and discussed long-term security arrangements during his recent visit to the country. Blinken announced an additional $1 billion in aid for Ukraine, reaffirming US support for the embattled nation.