Elon Musk blocks Ukraine from using Starlink in Crimea over concern that Putin could use nuclear weapons

Elon Musk personally rejected a Ukrainian request to extend his satellite internet service to Crimea,

the SpaceX CEO fearing that an effort to retake the peninsula from Russian forces could lead to a nuclear war, according to a report published Tuesday.

Following Russia's February invasion of Ukraine, Musk — and the US government — provided Kyiv with thousands of Starlink systems, enabling Ukrainian forces to communicate in what were previously dead zones.

The low energy requirements of the service's satellite receivers have enabled it to be connected to reconnaissance drones,

Yahoo News reported, providing valuable, real-time intelligence on Russian movements and the ability to target them.

But recently there have been problems. Last week, the Financial Times reported that the service was suffering "catastrophic" outages on the frontlines,

prompting speculation that it had been shut off in areas controlled by Russia — perhaps to prevent the Kremlin from itself exploiting the network.

On Twitter, Musk said he could not comment on battlefield conditions, saying "that's classified."

But speaking to Eurasia Group political analyst Ian Bremmer in late September, Musk appeared to confirm that the satellite service was being intentionally disabled.

Neither SpaceX nor Ukraine's Ministry of Defense immediately responded to requests for comment.