All posts tagged: long-range weapons

Elon Musk Let Russia Scare Him

Elon Musk Let Russia Scare Him

One evening in September 2022, a group of Ukrainian sea drones sped out into the Black Sea, heading for Russian-occupied Crimea. Their designers—engineers who had been doing other things until the current war began—had carefully targeted the fast, remote-controlled, explosive-packed vessels to hit ships anchored in Sebastopol, the home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. But the drones ran into a problem: Starlink, the satellite-communications system that Ukraine had been using since Russia invaded early last year, unexpectedly wasn’t working. This was a surprise to the engineers. Several people, in Ukraine and elsewhere, frantically called and texted Elon Musk, the owner of Starlink, to persuade him to enable the system. Musk, in turn, called Walter Isaacson, his biographer, and told him that there was a “non-trivial possibility” that the sea drone attack could lead to a nuclear war. According to Isaacson, Musk had recently spoken to Russia’s ambassador in Washington, who had warned him explicitly that any attack on Crimea would lead to nuclear conflict. Musk implied to several other people (though he later denied it) …