Elon Musk had turned a blind eye to Kiev’s exploitation of his services for long enough, with it appearing in hindsight that the final straw that forced his hand was being targeted by the SBU’s fascist troll network. They evidently thought that they could intimidate him into self-censoring or changing his pragmatic stance towards the Ukrainian Conflict by viciously attacking him on his own platform, including through the thuggish conveying of innumerable death threats against him, only for this to dramatically backfire at the worst moment imaginable for Kiev.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX confirmed that it’s been blocking Kiev’s unapproved use of its Starlink satellite technology to carry out drone strikes, explaining that this service was only supposed to “keep the banks going, hospitals, keep families connected”, not be exploited for offensive purposes. The Ukrainian military’s use of Musk’s satellites to facilitate communications is one thing, but it’s an altogether different issue to hijack these channels for carrying out attacks.
Twitter’s newest owner sympathizes with Kiev, but he’s also not interested in playing a partisan role in the conflict either. To the contrary, he’s expressed a surprisingly pragmatic stance towards this indisputable NATO-Russian proxy war, one which triggered the SBU’s fascist troll network into viciously attacking him. Musk was subsequently suspected of neutralizing their reach across Twitter late last year in response, which Zelensky’s senior advisor Mikhail Podolyak once again recently accused him of doing.
In any case, the point is that one of the world’s richest men isn’t as gung-go in support of Kiev as some of the other folks who sympathize with it, ergo his principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict by ordering SpaceX to block their unapproved use of his satellite internet services for carrying out drone strikes. This is commendable since it sets an example for others, not only in the corporate field, but also in the activist one more generally.
It’s indeed possible for someone to support Kiev’s “official narrative” towards the conflict while still declining to play an active role within it, all the while urging both sides to prioritize political resolutions to their disputes. At the end of the day, Musk has the right to determine how his technology is and isn’t used, so it’s perfectly within his writ to block Kiev from exploiting it for the purpose of carrying out drone strikes and other forms of offensive action that it was never intended for.
Absent the US government making him an offer that he can’t refuse (both in the literal sense of generously subsidizing Kiev’s use of these services for offensive means as well as the figurative one of coercing him to change his mind) or outright seizing control of SpaceX, this is the new state of affairs. Musk had turned a blind eye to Kiev’s exploitation of his services for long enough, with it appearing in hindsight that the final straw that forced his hand was being targeted by the SBU’s fascist troll network.
They evidently thought that they could intimidate him into self-censoring or changing his pragmatic stance towards the Ukrainian Conflict by viciously attacking him on his own platform, including through the thuggish conveying of innumerable death threats against him, only for this to dramatically backfire. Those who have even passing familiarity with Musk’s personality and political positions should have known better than to pressure him since he always pushes back against trolls.
Had the SBU’s fascist troll network given him a proverbial pass and simply ignored his prior peace proposals that triggered them so much, then he wouldn’t have felt like Kiev was so ungrateful for his generous services that it’s now literally encouraging – if not outright ordering – death threats against him on his own platform. Instead, they sought to intimidate him into self-censoring or changing his views, which resulted in Musk blocking their exploitation of his services at the most sensitive moment.
The US-led West’s Golden Billion decisively shifted its “official narrative” towards the conflict in recent weeks from prematurely celebrating Kiev’s supposedly “inevitable” victory to seriously warning about its possible loss in this proxy war. This development was prompted by the military-strategic dynamics gradually trending towards Russia’s favor, especially on the ground as regards its recent advances in Donbass ahead of what most observers agree is an impending large-scale Russian offensive.
It was precisely with that expectation in mind that NATO hastily assembled a tank coalition for dispatching these modern wares to Kiev, albeit within several months at the very earliest, not to mention the speculation that it’ll ultimately assemble a jet one soon too. Considering these military-strategic dynamics, it was therefore the most inopportune moment imaginable for Musk to cut off Kiev’s exploitation of his services that he’d hitherto turned a blind eye towards for the past year.
The only reason why he’d do so at this specific point in time was to signal his supreme displeasure at being so viciously targeted by the SBU’s fascist troll network over the past few months after all he’d thus far done for Kiev. Musk compromised on his principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict by letting that side take advantage of his services for carrying out drone strikes, but he couldn’t in good conscience continue letting them do that after it became obvious that Kiev marked him to die.
Its security services crossed the line by orchestrating their coordinated inauthentic trolling campaign against him over the past few months and never once signaling to their supporters in the time since that they should immediately cease what they’re doing due to the immensely high risk of blowback. The SBU’s stereotypical arrogance thus got the best of them and now their entire armed forces will rightly suffer as a result of Musk’s strategically timed revenge, which is totally their fault after what they did.
Source: the author’s blog