Tech billionaire Elon Musk has recently admitted to a controversial decision that prevented a potential Ukrainian attack on a Russian Navy base. Last year, he declined Ukraine’s request to activate internet access via the Starlink satellite network, operated by his company SpaceX, in the Black Sea near Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.

In a statement on Twitter, Musk revealed that Ukrainian authorities had made an emergency request to activate Starlink, ostensibly to guide small drone submarines armed with explosives to target Russia’s Black Sea Fleet based in Sevastopol. Musk firmly declined, explaining that complying with this request would make SpaceX complicit in a significant act of war and an escalation of the conflict.

This revelation stemmed from an excerpt from an upcoming biography of Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson, which outlined the events surrounding Musk’s decision. According to Isaacson’s book, last September, Ukrainian military forces planned a covert attack on the Russian naval fleet in Sevastopol using small drones, with Starlink guiding their path.

Musk’s version of events diverged slightly, emphasizing that the Starlink service was never activated. Nevertheless, he confirmed that he denied Kyiv’s request to activate it, citing his concerns about becoming involved in a war.

The decision to deactivate the satellite network was met with mixed reactions. Russia’s former president and senior security official, Dmitry Medvedev, praised Musk’s actions, suggesting that Musk’s stance was crucial in preventing a potentially catastrophic conflict escalation.

However, Ukrainian officials were less appreciative, accusing Musk of allowing the Russian Navy to target Ukrainian cities with Kalibr missiles due to the lack of interference from Starlink. Mikailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, criticized Musk’s refusal, blaming it for the loss of civilian lives and characterizing it as a result of ignorance and ego.

Elon Musk’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict has been controversial, with his shifting stance on providing satellite coverage to Ukraine. While he initially supported Ukraine by offering free access to Starlink, his concerns about taking sides ultimately led to his decision to deactivate the satellite network.

Ultimately, Musk’s admission raises questions about influential tech sdsillionaires’ influence and ethical responsibilities in global conflicts and whether they should take a more active role in diplomacy and peace efforts.