Putin calls Musk an ‘outstanding person’ after Starlink revelations

Russian President Vladimir Putin called SpaceX founder Elon Musk an “outstanding person,” days after Musk acknowledged he blocked off internet access from his Starlink satellites during a Ukrainian raid last year.

“As far as private business and Elon Musk is concerned … he is undoubtedly an outstanding person. This must be recognized, and I think it is recognized all over the world,” Putin said Tuesday at the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia, according to a Reuters translation.

“He is an active and talented businessman and he is succeeding a lot, including with the support of the American state,” Putin added. 

Putin did not specifically refer to the Starlink incident while at the economic forum, according to Reuters.

Musk said last week he turned off internet access from his Starlink satellites during a Ukrainian raid last year on a Russian naval fleet, claiming he did so to prevent being “complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.” 

Musk was responding to details from an upcoming book that indicated he ordered engineers to shut off the communications network before the attack. 

An excerpt about the raid from American author and journalist Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography on Musk, titled “Elon Musk,” was published by CNN. According to CNN, the tech billionaire said he was concerned Russia would respond to the naval attack with a nuclear weapon. 

Starlink has been a service for Ukrainian troops in the country’s fight against Russia and was provided to Kyiv in early 2022 after Russia disrupted Ukraine’s communications systems. 

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev similarly praised the tech billionaire last week, writing in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, “If what Isaacson has written in his book is true, then it looks like Musk is the last adequate mind in North America.” 

Tags Dmitry Medvedev Eastern Economic Forum Elon Musk russia Russia-Ukraine war Starlink ukraine Vladimir Putin