Ukraine likes Starlink internet but not Elon Musk’s peace plan

Elon Musk tweeted his peace plan, speculated referendums in Crimea and Donbas and angered Ukraine. The tycoon has made the Starlink satellite network accessible to Kyiv since the beginning of the war.

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Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P Chacko
Joseph P. Chacko is the publisher of Frontier India. He holds an M.B.A in International Business. Books: Author: Foxtrot to Arihant: The Story of Indian Navy's Submarine Arm; Co Author : Warring Navies - India and Pakistan. *views are Personal

Elon Musk tweeted his peace plan, speculated referendums in Crimea and Donbas and angered Ukraine. The tycoon, who has made the Starlink satellite network accessible to Kyiv since the beginning of the war, discussed with a series of tweets and polls on war.

According to Musk, several conditions are necessary for the hostilities to end. The first condition voiced by one of the wealthiest people in the world is the need to recognize Crimea as Russian.

The Ukrainian side must ensure the Crimean peninsula’s water supply and secure a non-bloc status with neutrality, he proposed in a tweet.

Crimea itself, as Musk writes, must finally become part of Russia, as it was from 1783 until Khrushchev’s mistake.

Another condition for ending the armed conflict in Ukraine, according to Musk, is “holding repeat referendums” in the former Ukrainian territories which are now known as Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions – referendums under the auspices of the United Nations.

According to Elon Musk, if the people of these territories do not support joining Russia during the voting, then Russian troops will have to leave these territories.

Musk also conducted a Twitter poll, with most respondents opposing his suggestion.

But in another poll on whether Donbas and Crimea should decide their fate, about 57% of respondents voted in favour (at the time of writing this article).

It is just a question of how many people will die before this occurs, noting that a nuclear war is a potential conclusion to the fight, says Musk.

Among the replies, that of Mikhailo Podolyak, advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, stands out. “Are you trying to legitimize the farce referendums that have been staged amidst persecution, mass executions and torture? Bad road,” writes Podolyak.

“No, I suggest voting under UN supervision. Either indicate an absolutely reliable authority or state,” said Musk, invoking an approach “perhaps similar to that of Kosovo”.

Finding himself in the shoes of what Ukrainians accuse Russia of, Podolyak then resorted to trolling Musk “Will the hundreds of thousands of dead people in Mariupol vote? Those who ended up in concentration camps? Elon Musk, you create rockets and dreams of colonizing Mars. Russia creates mobile cremation ovens and dreams of Ukraine as a nation disappear. It is not a question of voting.”

The two sides of the argument over the Eastern Ukraine conflict

Donetsk and Luhansk regions erupted in civil war after the 2014 far-right coup, also known as the Euromaidan or Maidan coup, in Kyiv, which toppled pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych. This is key to understanding the current Ukraine-Russia conflict. This coup was openly supported by the United States, Europe, and ultra-right shock troops such as the Right Sector and Svoboda Party. But western literature calls the coup charges rhetoric from Moscow.

The regime transition precipitated a civil war in the East of Ukraine between rebels supported by Russia and the Ukrainian army supported by the United States, which has cost tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions.

In January 2021, the Italian and German editions of SNA news reported that the February 2014 coup d’état in Kyiv was the cause of Ukraine’s military operation against the LNR and the DPR and the country’s civil war. Due to this, Crimea seceded, and Donetsk and Lugansk proclaimed independence since they could not accept the change in authority.

However, the counter is that the conflict in the East and the capture of Crimea were caused not by the ‘Revolution of Dignity’ but by Russian aggression. In addition, Russia distributed false information about right-wing Euromaidan activists who wanted to “rescue” the Russian-speaking people of Donbas and Crimea from Euromaidan activists.

In April 2014, the Ukrainian government initiated a military offensive against the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

What we know about Starlink and the Ukrainian conflict

The Starlink system, operated by Elon Musk’s business SpaceX, may give distant regions access to high-speed Internet. Elon Musk’s Internet may be utilized for both civilian and military objectives in Ukraine.

Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov said that the first shipment of Starlink satellite Internet stations arrived in Ukraine on February 28 and that on April 19, Starlink began work on establishing a representative office in Ukraine.

On April 20, Ukraine lifted limitations on the use of the Internet using Starlink terminals for all people and legal enterprises. During the martial rule, the terminals are accessible to anybody.

According to the State Special Communications Service, Ukrainians may buy a set of equipment from the Starlink website for $500 plus a monthly membership price of $99. The subscription fee was reduced by Elon Musk subsequently to $60 in August.

The Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mykhailo Fedorov, stated on April 27 that a representative office for the Starlink satellite Internet service was registered in Ukraine.

Dmytro Rogozin, the chairman of the Russian state enterprise “Roscosmos,” said that Elon Musk would be responsible for transferring Starlink satellite Internet equipment to Mariupol for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Elon Musk said that Russian hackers often assault Starlink, a firm that offers satellite Internet connectivity.

The Starliink terminals shipped to Ukraine for military use is paid by the US.


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