Elon Musk likes to interfere in crisis situations. Last February, the billionaire offered through his company SpaceX about fifty Starlink satellites to the Tonga Islands to help them reconnect to the world after a violent volcanic eruption damaged an undersea cable connecting Tonga to the Fiji Islands. At the beginning of March, equipment to connect areas hard hit by floods to the Starlink network was also deployed in Australia.
But the American billionaire does not stop at helping people affected by natural disasters. His positions since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia testify to his desire to play a role in the conflict.
Ukraine connected to the Starlink network
Faced with fears of an internet shutdown and cyberattacks from Russia, Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, asked Elon Musk at the end of February to connect the country at Starlink. With the appropriate equipment, this satellite network provides access to an internet connection in the event of problems on the national networks.
The boss of SpaceX and Tesla quickly responded favorably to this request. “The Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals on the way,” he wrote on February 26 on Twitter.
The first deliveries of Starlink terminals, in particular satellite dishes, were recorded on February 28. “Starlink has arrived. Thank you Elon Musk, ”Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted Monday evening, photo of a truck carrying terminals in support.
Another delivery has since arrived in Ukraine.
Useful satellites for the population… and the army
A precious help for the Ukrainian population, which has rushed to this satellite connection to circumvent the breakdowns and the common Internet cuts since the beginning of the bombardments in the country. Starlink even quickly became the most downloaded application in Ukraine, with 21,000 downloads from the Apple Store and Google Play on Sunday March 13, the majority of which came from Ukraine, according to the magazine. Forbes.
The Starlink network is not only useful for Ukrainian civilians to stay connected to the rest of the world in times of war. According to several media, including The Telegraph, the satellite internet connection made possible by Elon Musk is widely used by the Ukrainian army, whose drones use Starlink to locate and target Russian positions, including their tanks.
Starlink equipment targeted by Russia?
Elon Musk, however, warned the Ukrainian authorities against the possibility that recent Starlink installations, in particular satellite dishes, could now be used as targets by the Russian army in an attempt to deprive the country of internet connection.
Starlink is the only non-Russian communication system still operating in parts of Ukraine, so the likelihood of being targeted is high. Please use it with caution.
Elon Musk, March 3, Twitter
The boss of Tesla therefore invited the Ukrainians to camouflage the equipment and install it as far as possible from civilians.
A fight against Vladimir Putin
Besides his technology, the whimsical billionaire has also offered to use his fists to help Ukraine. On Twitter, Elon Musk indeed challenged Vladimir Putin on March 14 in a “man-to-man fight”. The challenge ? Simply Ukraine.
“Do you accept this fight? “, he then asked in another message in Russian, addressing the official Twitter account of the Kremlin. Faced with the incomprehension of a surfer, Elon Musk assured that he was … “completely serious”. “If Putin could humiliate the West so easily, then he would accept the challenge,” Musk wrote in another Twitter reply. “But he won’t. »
It was Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, a great supporter of the Russian President and martial arts lover, who answered him on Telegram, assuring that Elon Musk could not fight Vladimir Putin because of their “too different” weight categories. . He then offered the American billionaire to “train in centers in the Republic of Chechnya”. Faced with this response, Elon Musk did not mince his words: “Thank you for the offer, but such training will give me too great an advantage. If he (Vladimir Putin) is afraid to fight, I would agree to use only my left hand, and I’m not even left-handed, ”he laughed, still on Twitter.
For now, Elon Musk has not received an answer from the main party, Vladimir Putin.
Elon Musk does not want to penalize the Russians
If Elon Musk tries to help Ukraine, the American billionaire still refuses to sanction the Russian population, to whom he sent “his friendships” at the beginning of March.
Asked on Twitter to disconnect all Tesla cars in circulation in Russia, the billionaire has so far refused. He also said that “several governments – not Ukraine” had asked Starlink to block Russian news sources. The boss of SpaceX also swept away this possibility so as not to penalize the Russians, assuring that he was an “absolute defender of freedom of expression”.