The head of the Russian space agency has threatened SpaceX boss Elon Musk with consequences if his company supplies the Ukrainian armed forces with Starlink antennas. Dmitry Rogozin wrote on Telegram that the American billionaire was “involved in supplying fascist forces in Ukraine with military communication equipment”. He will have to answer “like an adult”. Musk responded Monday night on Twitter: “If I die under mysterious circumstances, it was good to know you all.”
SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet was not yet available in Ukraine when Russia began its war of aggression against the country on February 24. The service was activated a few days later and dozens of antennas were delivered. Thousands more followed, and according to the Ukrainian government, more than 150,000 people go online every day. However, reports have long indicated that the Ukrainian armed forces are using this technology to resist a war of aggression. For example, a major drone unit uses the service to transmit information about the locations of Russian tanks.
In his telegram, Rogozin now refers to the fighting in the Ukrainian port of Mariupol which has been going on for weeks. There, the Ukrainian defenders hold only the badly damaged premises of the Azov-Stahl steel company. The last civilians who had fled there were able to leave over the weekend. The area is defended by the so-called Azov Regiment, which looks back on a far-right past. In the meantime, the unit has distanced itself from it and from its founder, but Rogozin still speaks of a “Nazi battalion”. They have Starlink antennas, US military helped.
Rogozin’s Threats to the West
Rogozin has repeatedly drawn attention to himself with threats against the West since the start of the war in Ukraine, most concerning the International Space Station (ISS), which Russia is involved in operating. While the country’s space industry is now largely isolated, this cooperation continues to work. Nor should this be expected to change in the near future. The mutual dependence is too great.
This is why no one should take Rogozin’s threats against Musk seriously. It was only on Sunday that he also wrote to Telegram that Russia could destroy the NATO countries in a nuclear war in half an hour – “but we must not allow it because the consequences of an exchange nuclear would affect the state of our earth”, quotes the dpa.