Ukraine Update: Missile Attack Hits Zelensky's Hometown; Musk Justifies Starlink Disconnection

A missile strike carried out by Russia hit the hometown of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Kryvyi Rih, resulting in one fatality and over 70 injuries. The strike destroyed a police administration building and caused damage to residential buildings. Rescue workers are currently at the scene, working to rescue people trapped under rubble and extinguish fires.

Elon Musk, the owner of SpaceX, faced criticism from a top Ukrainian official after it was revealed in a new biography that Starlink satellite internet services were cut off to Ukrainian submarine drones last year during an attack on a Russian fleet in Crimea. Musk defended his decision, stating that he did not want SpaceX to be involved in a major act of war and conflict escalation.

In other news, Ukraine has frozen the assets of Ihor Kolomoisky, a tycoon facing corruption allegations and already under indictment and sanctions in the United States. This action was taken by Ukraine's anti-graft office, which froze shares in over 300 companies under Kolomoisky's control, as well as real estate and vehicles.

According to the biography of Musk, he instructed engineers to turn off Starlink coverage near the Crimean coast after learning about the planned submarine drone attack in 2022. As a result, the Ukrainian drones lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly when they approached the Russian fleet. Ukrainian and American officials made efforts to restore service, appealing directly to Musk. Eventually, Musk agreed after threatening to stop funding the satellite service altogether.

Musk stated that the drone attack was intended to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor and that he received an emergency request from Ukrainian authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol. However, he believed that agreeing to the request would make his company complicit in a major act of war. A Zelensky adviser criticized Musk, claiming that his interference led to civilian deaths.

World leaders, including President Joe Biden, are arriving in New Delhi for the Group of 20 economic summit, where the war in Ukraine is expected to be a prominent issue. Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending, and his defense minister is expected to take his place. The war in Ukraine has been identified as a key topic by Charles Michel, president of the European Council.

Ukraine has denounced Russian elections in occupied areas of Ukraine as illegitimate. The country's Foreign Ministry stated that these elections have no legal standing and are considered worthless. Russia is holding regional elections in four Ukrainian areas that it does not fully control, namely Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson. The United States, Europe, and other nations have also condemned these elections.

A Pentagon official defended the US decision to supply Ukraine with depleted uranium munitions capable of piercing armor. This comes in response to claims made by the Russian Embassy in Washington that such weapons cause cancer. The official cited the International Atomic Energy Agency's statement that there is no proven link between depleted uranium and cancer.
During a news briefing, the Pentagon's deputy press secretary, Sabrina Singh, stated that there is no evidence linking exposure to military activities with an increase in cancers or significant health or environmental impacts. Ukraine's prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin, accused Russia of subjecting 90 percent of Ukrainian prisoners of war to torture, rape, threats of sexual violence, or other ill treatment.

 Ukrainian President Zelensky introduced Rustem Umerov as the new defense minister, describing him as a strong person who can reboot the work of the Ministry of Defense. Russian forces are said to be holding their positions in Ukraine's counteroffensive and using their experience to fight Ukrainian forces effectively. However, Ukraine is making some progress, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised the resilience of the Ukrainian people and pledged more than $1 billion in additional U.S. aid. French President Emmanuel Macron stated that Russia has no place at the Paris Olympics due to its war crimes and deportation of children. Vice President Harris warned North Korea against providing military support to Russia. Spain's importation of Russian gas is increasing, despite EU pressure to reduce dependence on Russian gas. Maksim Shugalei, a confidant of Yevgeniy Prigozhin, wrote on Telegram that the recent plane crash that killed Prigozhin and others shows that no one is safe in Russia. Western analysts believe Putin ordered Prigozhin's death as retribution for a mutiny he led in June.
طلحة عبد الكريم
By : طلحة عبد الكريم
مدير و محرر مدونة الموقع التقني.