In a recent call with Pentagon officials, Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, revealed that he had personally spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This revelation came during a conversation about the satellite-based internet service provided by SpaceX to Ukraine’s military. According to a report by The New Yorker, Musk shared this information with Colin Kahl, who was the Pentagon’s top policy official at the time.
The discussion took place in October and centered around the issue of Ukrainian forces losing connection to SpaceX’s Starlink service as they entered disputed territory with Russia. It seems that Musk’s intention in sharing the details of his conversation with Putin was to address concerns that Starlink’s involvement in Ukraine’s military efforts was being viewed negatively by Russia.
Colin Kahl, who spoke to The New Yorker about the call, said, “My inference was that he was getting nervous that Starlink’s involvement was increasingly seen in Russia as enabling the Ukrainian war effort, and was looking for a way to placate Russian concerns.” This development sheds light on the complex dynamics between technology companies, international politics, and military operations. As SpaceX continues to expand its satellite-based internet service, it faces challenges and considerations that go beyond technological advancements. The interplay between global powers and their interests adds an additional layer of complexity to the satellite industry.