A Ukrainian official accused Tesla CEO Elon Musk of “committing evil,” after allegedly ordering engineers working at his Starlink internet company to turn off the communications network near the Crimean coast last year. As a result it prevented a Ukrainian drone from attacking a Russian warship, according to a biography about Musk.
In a statement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, the Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, claimed Musk’s interference led to multiple deaths of civilians, calling them “the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego.”
“By not allowing Ukranian drones to destroy part of the Russian fleet via Starlink interference, @elonmusk allowed his fleet to fire Kalibr missiles at Ukraine cities. As a result, civilians, and children are being killed,” Podolyak wrote.
“Why do some people so desperately want to defend war criminals and their desire to commit murder? And do they now realize that they are committing evil and encouraging evil?”
However, Musk responded to the accusations saying he does not want his company to be “explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”
The biography Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson, which is due out on Tuesday, alleges Musk ordered Starlink engineers to stop their service because he was concerned that Vladimir Putin would retaliate with nuclear weapons to a Ukrainian attack on Russian-occupied Crimea.
Additionally, Ukrainian deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov told the Financial Times that Musk allegedly shared with Isaacson confidential exchanges about military information regarding Starlink, without permission from Fedorov.
This comes after Musk reportedly agreed to supply Starlink hardware to Ukraine after Ukraine’s communications were disrupted by Russia at the time.
Musk has also been involved in recent social media arguments with Ukrainian officials, including the president Volodymyr Zelnskiy, over his ideas to end the war.
In October of 2022, the Tesla CEO proposed a peace deal involving the United Nations supervision annexation referendums in Moscow and occupied Ukrainian regions. As well as acknowledging Russian control over the Crimean peninsula and giving Ukraine a neutral status.
“Preliminary analysis suggests that the reach and influence of Kremlin-backed accounts has grown further in the first half of 2023, driven in particular by the dismantling of Twitter’s safety standards.”
The European Union has recently accused Musk’s company X of allowing Russian propaganda about Ukraine to spread on the social media platform.