Billionaire Elon Musk has refused to answer Sky News questions about claims he foiled a Ukrainian attack on Russian warships.
The businessman behind SpaceX and X, formerly known as Twitter, has been accused of enabling Vladimir Putin per withhold the use of its satellite network.
Ukraine has been heavily dependent on the billionaire-owned Starlink network since Russia’s 2022 invasion.
Details of withheld permission have emerged in a new biography of Musk.
The Russian vessels in question were stationed in Sevastopol in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory annexed by the Russians in 2014.
Musk had written on X: “If I had accepted their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”
A senior Ukrainian military official has accused him of causing civilian deaths by denying access to his satellites.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, tweeted: “Civilians, children are being killed. This is the price of a cocktail of ignorance and big ego.”
Sky News asked Musk about the Ukrainian’s remarks after he attended a meeting of the Federal Aviation Authority in Washington DC.
He refused to answer when asked if his ignorance and ego had cost Ukrainians their lives.
He also did not respond when asked if he appreciated Mr Putin’s description of him as “outstanding”.
Musk had earlier attended a meeting on Capitol Hill with US senators.
He pulled up in a Tesla, of course he did.
Musk arrived at the brand, squeezed with his security detail into the backseat of a Tesla vehicle sold by the man himself.
It was the marketing necessity (his arrival was filmed by the world’s media) that contrasted him with the contemporaries in the platinum class.
Size mattered more to the likes of Mark Zuckerberg as they rolled in presidential-style SUVs toward a conference in the heart of DC.
And they were all there – the guest list read like a Who’s Who of artificial intelligence (AI) gathered to be asked where their technology can take our world.
It was a closed meeting with US senators gathered around a U-shaped table.
For the tech billionaires, there were questions from the media on their way into the building, but little came back, except for the faint whiff of perfume from a procession of the expensively underdressed.
Their inner thoughts were clearly reserved for the politicians who were examining AI, its benefits, dangers and necessary safeguards.
Together, the tech giants behind Microsoft, Meta, X et al have considerable power over the future, and of course their influence extends far into the present.
On the day, we did not hear the latest thoughts of Musk on the controversy involving him and Ukraine.
Perhaps the politicians looking at artificial intelligence, its power and reach, had better luck?
Even if they didn’t, even in silence, the ambient noise makes one thing abundantly clear.
The ability of AI and its owner to shape armed conflict reflects its power to change the rules of engagement—on the battlefield and far beyond.