The author who wrote Elon Musk‘s highly anticipated new biography has had to walk back on a major claim just days before its release.

Walter Isaacson claimed in the book that the Tesla and Starlink CEO abruptly turned off Ukraine‘s access to the satellite internet system last year.

It supposedly took place just as the country was preparing to launch an underwater drone attack on a Russian fleet in Crimea – leaving Ukrainian forces without communication for the assault, which ultimately failed.

An excerpt from the book, obtained by CNN, said: ‘He secretly told his engineers to turn off coverage within 100 kilometers of the Crimean coast,’ fearing the sneak attack would lead to a ‘mini-Pearl Harbor’ scenario and nuclear war.

‘As a result, when the Ukrainian drone subs got near the Russian fleet in Sevastopol, they lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly,’ it added.

Musk himself hit back at the explosive claim, saying that Starlink was never activated over Crimea, and he had received an 'emergency request from government authorities'

Musk himself hit back at the explosive claim, saying that Starlink was never activated over Crimea, and he had received an ’emergency request from government authorities’

Walter Isaacson claimed in the book that the Tesla and Starlink CEO abruptly turned off Ukraine 's access to the satellite internet system last year

Walter Isaacson claimed in the book that the Tesla and Starlink CEO abruptly turned off Ukraine ‘s access to the satellite internet system last year

But Musk himself hit back at the explosive claim, saying that Starlink was never activated over Crimea, and he had received an ’emergency request from government authorities.’

He said that he ultimately denied their request, saying the ‘obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor.’

Ukraine’s military had harnessed the technology to pilot drones carrying anti-tank grenades, destroying Russian tanks and army trucks.

The claim triggered a sea of questions over Musk’s role as a key figure in the war, with Isaacson forced to admit his mistake.

‘To clarify on the Starlink issue: the Ukrainians THOUGHT coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but it was not,’ Isaacson posted on X.

‘They asked Musk to enable it for their drone sub-attack on the Russian fleet.

‘Based on my conversations with Musk, I mistakenly thought the policy to not allow Starlink to be used for an attack on Crimea had been first decided on the night of the Ukrainian attempted sneak attack that night,’ Isaacson added.

‘He now says that the policy had been implemented earlier, but the Ukrainians did not know it, and that night he simply reaffirmed the policy.’

It supposedly took place just as the country was preparing to launch an underwater drone attack on a Russian fleet in Crimea – leaving Ukrainian forces without communication for the assault, which ultimately failed

It supposedly took place just as the country was preparing to launch an underwater drone attack on a Russian fleet in Crimea – leaving Ukrainian forces without communication for the assault, which ultimately failed

The acclaimed author was quick to walk back on the claims in the book, which Musk worked with him for two years on the project

The acclaimed author was quick to walk back on the claims in the book, which Musk worked with him for two years on the project

Reports that Musk had spoken with Putin about the war first surfaced last October, and the Tesla owner has denied the claim

Reports that Musk had spoken with Putin about the war first surfaced last October, and the Tesla owner has denied the claim

The world's richest man began providing free access to Space X's Starlink internet terminals in the early days of the Russian invasion in February 2022, which have been vital in allowing Ukrainians to communicate and coordinate their resistance. Pictured: A starlink antenna is seen covered in camouflage in Ukraine, December 2022

The world’s richest man began providing free access to Space X’s Starlink internet terminals in the early days of the Russian invasion in February 2022, which have been vital in allowing Ukrainians to communicate and coordinate their resistance. Pictured: A starlink antenna is seen covered in camouflage in Ukraine, December 2022 

Initially, Isaacson claimed that Musk was becoming ‘increasingly uncomfortable’ with Ukraine using his systems after starting the free supply in 2022.

Musk became concerned about taking sides but is denying that the system was ever active, telling the author: ‘Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars’.

It means that the book will have to be reprinted with a correction, with famous author Isaacson also walking back on the bombshell claim after significant media coverage.

The acclaimed author was quick to walk back on the claims in the book, which Musk worked with him for two years on the project. 

Despite the collaboration, it is unclear why the issue of Starlink was not corrected prior to the book’s publication on September 12.

Musk hit back at the claims on September 7, saying: If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.

‘I am a citizen of the United States and have only that passport. No matter what happens, I will fight for and die in America.

Musk became concerned about taking sides but is denying that the system was ever active, telling the author: 'Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars'

Musk became concerned about taking sides but is denying that the system was ever active, telling the author: ‘Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars’

Ukrainians are pictured standing near a Starlink terminal in November 2022 in Kherson, to use the internet

Ukrainians are pictured standing near a Starlink terminal in November 2022 in Kherson, to use the internet

It means that the book will have to be reprinted with a correction, with famous author Isaacson also walking back on the bombshell claim after significant media coverage

It means that the book will have to be reprinted with a correction, with famous author Isaacson also walking back on the bombshell claim after significant media coverage

Local residents use a Starlink terminal, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, on January 31

Local residents use a Starlink terminal, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Chasiv Yar, Donetsk region, on January 31

‘The United States Congress has not declared war on Russia. If anyone is treasonous, it is those who call me such.’

The correction has cast questions over the biography by Isaacson, a highly respected author who has previously written biographies on Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.

Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane University and former head of CNN, has been held in high esteem by his colleagues prior to the gaffe with Musk.

His error will mean that future editions of the book will have to be edited, with the author admitting that his book ‘mischaracterized’ the issue.

In the wake of the aborted strike, Ukraine army chief Valery Zaluzhnyi reportedly sought contact with Milley, alleging Musk had the ability to dictate his military’s capabilities to attack key Russian targets.

A Ukrainian soldier of the 61st Separate Mechanized Brigade uses the Starlink system in June this year in the Chernihiv region

A Ukrainian soldier of the 61st Separate Mechanized Brigade uses the Starlink system in June this year in the Chernihiv region

Valeriy Zaluzhnyi , commander-in-chief of Ukraine's army, complained to his U.S. counterpart about Musk's control over battlefield tactics

Valeriy Zaluzhnyi , commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s army, complained to his U.S. counterpart about Musk’s control over battlefield tactics

A Ukrainian soldier gestures as he stands next to the Starlink connection in October in Kherson

A Ukrainian soldier gestures as he stands next to the Starlink connection in October in Kherson

Zaluzhnyi said it was ‘concerning’ that Musk had ruined several planned attacks.

Mykhailo Fedorov, a deputy prime minister of Ukraine, pleaded with Musk via text message to restore the Starlink connection, telling Musk about their capabilities.

‘I just want you – the person who is changing the world through technology – to know this,’ Fedorov told Musk, according to Isaacson.

Musk told Fedorov he was impressed by the submarine but would not restore the internet connection because he felt it was too provocative.

He told Fedorov that Ukraine ‘is now going too far and inviting strategic defeat,’ according to Isaacson.

Last month, Musk was accused of holding ‘the Ukrainians and the U.S. government at gunpoint,’ with his ability to switch off internet services on the Ukrainian front line at will.

Ultimately, the Pentagon paid Musk to keep the connection going, but journalist Ronan Farrow, in a profile of Musk for the New Yorker, spoke to Ukrainian and U.S. officials who were deeply uneasy about the power Musk held over the course of the war.

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