Elon Musk Biographer Retracts Account of Starlink Crimean Blackout

Walter Isaacson, the author of Elon Musk’s upcoming biography, has clarified a previously published account which stated that the SpaceX CEO had intentionally deactivated Starlink coverage off the Crimean coast during an anticipated Ukrainian attack. Isaacson now explains that the area was not already covered by Starlink, which was corroborated by Musk himself. Isaacson posted on X, stating that “nothing was deactivated.”

However, despite the clarification, the initial report had already caused damage. Musk faced criticism online as people read Isaacson’s initial writing. The excerpt suggested that allowing Starlink to be used during the attack would be disastrous for the world. It also claimed that Musk secretly instructed his engineers to turn off coverage within 100 kilometers of the Crimean coast.

In response, Musk posted on X, asserting that the Starlink regions in question were not activated and that SpaceX did not deactivate anything. He also individually texted Isaacson to address the issue.

Isaacson later posted on X to clarify the situation further. He explained that the Ukrainians believed coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but in reality, it was not. They had asked Musk to enable it for their drone submarine attack on the Russian fleet, but Musk did not comply.

Musk expressed his appreciation for the correction by reposting it and thanking Walter. When asked about the retraction, Isaacson admitted his mistake, stating that he had misinterpreted Musk’s decision that night. He originally thought Musk had newly made the decision, but in fact, Musk was adhering to a previously implemented policy.

In light of the clarification, the account of the Starlink Crimean blackout has been retracted by Isaacson.