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Bloomberg: US Senator calls for investigation following allegations Elon Musk disrupted Ukraine's strike on Russian fleet

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 12, 2023 1:30 PM 2 min read
Senator Elizabeth Warren during a vote in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, September 7, 2023. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) has called for an investigation into Elon Musk and his company, SpaceX, Bloomberg reported on Sept. 12.

Warren wants a probe into the company due to allegations that Musk was personally responsible for preventing a Ukrainian drone attack against the Russian navy last year.

The U.S. Congress should investigate "whether we have adequate tools to make sure foreign policy is conducted by the government and not by one billionaire," Warren said on Sept. 11 in Washington, D.C.

Reports emerged on Sept. 7 that an excerpt from a new biography on Musk described how he secretly instructed his engineers to turn off Starlink satellite communications near Crimea in 2022 to prevent a Ukrainian submarine drone attack against Russian military ships.

As the drones loaded with explosives approached the Russian fleet, they "lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly," Walter Isaacson wrote in a biography titled "Elon Musk."

Musk denied on Sept. 8 that he had Starlink satellite communications to disrupt a Ukrainian drone attack, saying that they had not been active in this region in the first place.

However, Musk also said he had received a request "from government authorities" to activate Starlink, operated by his spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX, "all the way to Sevastopol." He didn't specify who exactly had sent the request.

"If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation," the billionaire claimed on his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Warren added that she wants the U.S. Defense Department to investigate "its contractual relationship with the company," Bloomberg said.

In June 2023, the Pentagon confirmed that SpaceX had won a contract from the Defense Department to provide Ukraine with Starlink satellite services but did not reveal the price, scope, or delivery timeline, citing operational security.

SpaceX began providing the Starlink satellite internet system to Ukraine shortly after the Russian full-scale invasion in February 2022.

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