Tag Archives: Starlink

Starlink Donation : What A Brilliant Way To Make $$$!

Elon Musk just stumbled on a great way for SpaceX to make more money – add a Starlink donation option!

 

Starlink Donation : Way Out For Elon Musk + Brilliant Way To Make $$$

Right after being forced to withdraw his demand for more Starlink funding, Elon Musk just found a fortuitous escape hatch for that PR debacle, and a new and brilliant way to make more money!

Chipper CEO Ham Serunjogi tweeted a day earlier that he would be happy to donate money to donate Starlink to schools and hospitals in Uganda.

Musk jumped on it and asked if anyone else would be interested to donate Starlink to places in need.

Are there others that want to donate Starlinks to places in need?

Without waiting for a poll or positive response from his legion of fans, the SpaceX CEO announced 6 minutes later that SpaceX will add a donate option for Starlink.

Ok, we will add a donate option to Starlink

It took Elon Musk only 6 minutes to realise the genius of the idea. A Starlink donation option would kill two birds with one stone.

Not only would it absolve him of the need to (partially) donate to Ukraine or Iran, or impoverished communities, SpaceX gets to financially benefit from those donations, AND reap the PR benefits on top of that!

That’s a pay nothing, and get all three FREE deal right there! What is there not to like?

Read more : Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

 

Elon Musk + SpaceX Do Not Need A Starlink Donation Option!

Call me a cynic, but this is nothing more than a ploy to enrich SpaceX by squeezing the common people to donate Starlink.

Of course, we don’t yet know how the Starlink donation option will work – it was just a declaration of intent. But neither Elon Musk nor SpaceX actually need to add a Starlink donation option.

SpaceX received and continue to receive tens of millions of dollars in donations to provide Starlink to Ukraine, and we know that because their letter of demand leaked inconvenient details – some 85% of Starlink terminals were donated by third party entities like:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

In other words – there are already institutions donating vast amounts of money to fund Starlink for such “places in need”. Elon Musk himself can fund a lot of CSR projects with his wealth of over $200 BILLION, even if he ends up buying Twitter.

Elon Musk didn’t become a multi-billionaire by donating his money; and despite signing the Giving Pledge in 2012, he has done very little of it.

What is clear though is that neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk need us common folks trying to make ends meet, to donate Starlink.

Read more : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

 

Why Is Ham Serunjogi Even Asking For A Starlink Donation Option?

I don’t even understand why Ham Serunjogi is publicly asking Elon Musk if there’s a way to donate Starlink to schools and hospitals in Uganda.

As far as I can tell – SpaceX hasn’t even applied for regulatory approval for Starlink in Uganda. So donating to Uganda is a non-starter, the question moot. Pointless.

But if Ham Serunjogi or any other rich technopreneur wants to help connect “places in need” under Starlink coverage, they can simply order and pay for Starlink. As the Nike motto says – Just do it!

Unless the purpose is to get some nice PR without actually doing anything, or heavens forbid – to give Elon Musk a way to switch the topic away from SpaceX’s less than heroic donations to Ukraine.

Here I lay to rest my cynicism, in hopes that I’m wrong, and Ham Serunjogi and other rich people will do their bit to bring Internet connectivity to people who don’t yet have access.

 

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Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

Elon Musk has officially withdrawn SpaceX’s demand for more Starlink funding in Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

Elon Musk was seen as a saviour to Ukrainians, after his company – SpaceX, shipped thousands of its satellite terminals to Ukraine, and activated its Starlink satellite Internet services.

But he came under fire after a SpaceX letter demanding more funding leaked, exposing how most of Starlink service in Ukraine was being funded by third party entities, including the US, UK and Polish governments.

The backlash resulted in an angry “The hell with it” retort by Musk, which could either mean he was going to continue subsidising a small part of Starlink services in Ukraine, or he was just being sarcastic.

That was finally clarified when he tweeted that SpaceX officially withdrew its request for (additional) funding.

SpaceX has already withdrawn its request for funding

He could barely hide his indignation at being “exposed” for only subsidising a small percentage of Starlink services in Ukraine, with his follow-up tweet to “clarify” that SpaceX was only getting paid for 42% of Starlink users in Ukraine.

To be precise, 25,300 terminals were sent to Ukraine, but, at present, only 10,630 are paying for service

While that sounds “bad”, the truth is – SpaceX was charging an ultra-premium $2,500 for its Starlink service in Ukraine, when most users only needed the much cheaper $500 connectivity, or the $60 consumer connectivity.

That’s like charging them for Gigabit broadband, when they only need 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps connectivity. The cost is the same, but the company gets to claim that they are being fleeced, when the truth is – they are looking to profiteer off a country desperately trying to fight off a Russian invasion.

Come on, Elon…

Read more : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk / SpaceX Is Making Money Off Starlink In Ukraine!

As a capitalist and a corporation respectively, Elon Musk and SpaceX are entitled to profit off the Starlink satellite service. But it is also important to note that Ukraine has offered SpaceX a unique opportunity to showcase the advantages of the Starlink system.

The overwhelmingly positive media coverage of Starlink’s importance in the Ukraine War is something money can’t buy. So it is important that Elon Musk and SpaceX do not abuse their unique position, to focus on profit, profit, profit.

Not only do they stand to lose that positive news coverage, it could also open a bag of worms… like when the leaked letter exposed that SpaceX was not as charitable as everyone thought.

According to the leaked SpaceX letter, about 85% of the 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paid or partially paid for by countries like the US, the UK and Poland. Those countries also paid for about 30% of the Internet connectivity, which costs $4,500 per month per unit.

That service cost was also brought into question since it was their top-tier pricing, when the majority of users in Ukraine only needed the much cheaper $500 per month connectivity, and consumer connectivity only cost $60 per month. It looked like SpaceX was profiteering off Ukraine’s desperation.

The SpaceX letter naturally rankled the Pentagon, with one senior defence official saying that SpaceX has “the gall to look like heroes” and present them with a bill for tens of millions of dollars, when Starlink service in Ukraine was already being sponsored in large part by outside sources.

Let’s hope that Elon Musk and SpaceX has learned their lesson on trying to profit off the Ukraine War…

Read more : Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

 

Earlier : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

According to an exclusive report by CNN, SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote a letter to the Pentagon, warning that it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service.

SpaceX delivered about 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine so far, with CEO Elon Musk stating on Friday that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year“.

We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.

In the letter that was sent in September, SpaceX asked the Pentagon to fund the Ukraine government’s use of Starlink, which would cost $124 million for the rest of the year, and could cost as much as $380 million for the next 12 months.

Here is a breakdown of Starlink costs in Ukraine, and who paid for what:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

SpaceX priced the two Starlink satellite terminal models it sent to Ukraine at $1,500 and $2,500, even though the consumer model is cheaper at just $599.

SpaceX claims to have paid for about 70% of the service provided to those Starlink terminals, but that’s based on their claim to have offered the highest level of service at $4,500 per month, even though the majority only signed on for the cheaper $500 per month service. Starlink consumer service in Ukraine, in comparison, costs just $60 per month!

 

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Elon Musk To Keep (Partly) Funding Starlink In Ukraine!

Amidst the recent funding controversy, Elon Musk has begrudgingly agreed to keep (partly) funding Starlink services in Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk To Keep (Partly) Funding Starlink In Ukraine!

Elon Musk was seen as a saviour to Ukrainians, after his company – SpaceX, shipped thousands of its satellite terminals to Ukraine, and activated its Starlink satellite Internet services.

Starlink has been critical in providing the Ukrainian government and military forces with secure communications, and the ability to control drones to monitor or attack Russian forces.

But that burnish was just soiled by the raging controversy over SpaceX’s reluctance to “keep paying” for Starlink in Ukraine, especially when it’s revealed that most of the “free” terminals and services were funded by other parties!

In what appears to be a rage post, Elon Musk begrudgingly agreed to keep (partly) funding Starlink services in Ukraine on Saturday, October 15, 2022:

The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.

Of course, that could be nothing more than Musk’s sarcastic response to what he probably perceives as a lack of appreciation for SpaceX’s efforts.

Read more : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk / SpaceX Is Making Money Off Starlink In Ukraine!

As a capitalist and a corporation respectively, Elon Musk and SpaceX are entitled to profit off the Starlink satellite service. But it is also important to note that Ukraine has offered SpaceX a unique opportunity to showcase the advantages of the Starlink system.

The overwhelmingly positive media coverage of Starlink’s importance in the Ukraine War is something money can’t buy. So it is important that Elon Musk and SpaceX do not abuse their unique position, to focus on profit, profit, profit.

Not only do they stand to lose that positive news coverage, it could also open a bag of worms… like when the leaked letter exposed that SpaceX was not as charitable as everyone thought.

According to the leaked SpaceX letter, about 85% of the 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paid or partially paid for by countries like the US, the UK and Poland. Those countries also paid for about 30% of the Internet connectivity, which costs $4,500 per month per unit.

That service cost was also brought into question since it was their top-tier pricing, when the majority of users in Ukraine only needed the much cheaper $500 per month connectivity, and consumer connectivity only cost $60 per month. It looked like SpaceX was profiteering off Ukraine’s desperation.

The SpaceX letter naturally rankled the Pentagon, with one senior defence official saying that SpaceX has “the gall to look like heroes” and present them with a bill for tens of millions of dollars, when Starlink service in Ukraine was already being sponsored in large part by outside sources.

Let’s hope that Elon Musk and SpaceX has learned their lesson on trying to profit off the Ukraine War…

Read more : Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

 

Earlier : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

According to an exclusive report by CNN, SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote a letter to the Pentagon, warning that it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service.

SpaceX delivered about 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine so far, with CEO Elon Musk stating on Friday that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year“.

We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.

In the letter that was sent in September, SpaceX asked the Pentagon to fund the Ukraine government’s use of Starlink, which would cost $124 million for the rest of the year, and could cost as much as $380 million for the next 12 months.

Here is a breakdown of Starlink costs in Ukraine, and who paid for what:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

SpaceX priced the two Starlink satellite terminal models it sent to Ukraine at $1,500 and $2,500, even though the consumer model is cheaper at just $599.

SpaceX claims to have paid for about 70% of the service provided to those Starlink terminals, but that’s based on their claim to have offered the highest level of service at $4,500 per month, even though the majority only signed on for the cheaper $500 per month service. Starlink consumer service in Ukraine, in comparison, costs just $60 per month!

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

SpaceX is no longer willing to pay for Starlink satellite service in Ukraine!

 

SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

The stars are shining for once on Russian President Vladimir Putin in his invasion of Ukraine!

According to an exclusive report by CNN, SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote a letter to the Pentagon, warning that it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service.

SpaceX delivered about 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine so far, with CEO Elon Musk stating on Friday that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year“.

We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.

In the letter that was sent in September, SpaceX asked the Pentagon to fund the Ukraine government’s use of Starlink, which would cost $124 million for the rest of the year, and could cost as much as $380 million for the next 12 months.

Here is a breakdown of Starlink costs in Ukraine, and who paid for what:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

SpaceX priced the two Starlink satellite terminal models it sent to Ukraine at $1,500 and $2,500, even though the consumer model is cheaper at just $599.

SpaceX claims to have paid for about 70% of the service provided to those Starlink terminals, but that’s based on their claim to have offered the highest level of service at $4,500 per month, even though the majority only signed on for the cheaper $500 per month service. Starlink consumer service in Ukraine, in comparison, costs just $60 per month!

Read more : Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

 

Loss Of Starlink In Ukraine Will Be Disastrous

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite service has been vital to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield, proving its government and military with secure communications and Internet connectivity.

It not only provides Ukrainian forces with secure communications, it allows them to control drones to monitor and even attack Russian forces.

However, that reliance on SpaceX and its Starlink satellite service is a double-edged sword – it appears to be highly reliant on whims and fancies of its erratic CEO – Elon Musk.

Revelations about this letter raises concerns about Musk’s allegiance in the Ukraine War, after his much-derided Ukraine peace plan on October 3, 2022.

Not only did Elon Musk personally block the use of Starlink in Russia-occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian counteroffensives in the South and East were recently stymied by outages on the battlefield.

That has affected every effort of the Ukrainians to push past that front. Starlink is the main way units on the battlefield have to communicate.

According to SpaceX, about 85% of the 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paid or partially paid for by countries like the US, the UK and Poland. Those countries also paid for about 30% of the Internet connectivity, which costs $4,500 per month per unit.

The SpaceX letter rankled the Pentagon, with one senior defence official saying that SpaceX has “the gall to look like heroes” and present them with a bill for tens of millions of dollars, when Starlink service in Ukraine was  already being sponsored in large part by outside sources.

 

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Elon Musk : China Says No To Starlink!

Elon Musk just revealed that the Chinese government directly told him they do not want Starlink operational in China!

 

Elon Musk : China Says No To Starlink!

In an interview with Financial Times, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed that he was directly contacted by representatives of the Chinese government over Starlink.

He was told, in no uncertain terms, that Beijing disapproved of his rollout of Starlink in Ukraine, and demanded that he won’t sell Starlink in China.

Beijing has made it clear that it disapproves of his recent rollout of Starlink […] in Ukraine… [and] demanded assurances that he would not sell Starlink in China.

It is odd that Beijing would make a personal demand to Elon Musk, as it has the regulatory authority to determine if SpaceX is allowed to market and sell Starlink in China.

What the Chinese government is probably trying to do is get Musk to “turn off” Starlink in Chinese territory, like how he blocked Starlink in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Musk did not say whether he would obey Beijing’s request to never export Starlink to China. However, it is doubtful he would defy such a personal “request” by the Chinese government.

After all, Tesla has a major factory in China that produces hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles. Even if China does not shut down Gigafactory Shanghai to protect local workers and suppliers, it can cut off supply of critical EV components to Tesla’s other Gigafactories around the world.

The Starlink Services Map does not show any plan by SpaceX to roll out the satellite Internet service in China. In Asia, Starlink just started operations in Japan, and is “pending regulatory approval” in Taiwan, Vietnam and Mongolia.

 

Why CCP Fears Elon Musk Will Activate Starlink In China

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government has been keenly monitoring Elon Musk and the effect Starlink has on bypassing censorship.

Since February 2022, SpaceX shipped over 25,000 Starlink dishes to Ukraine, providing its military forces with secure satellite communications that has been game-changing. It not only kept Ukraine online, it allowed the Ukrainian military to launch drones to monitor and attack Russian forces.

Then in September 2022, Elon Musk activated Starlink in Iran to help its citizens bypass Internet restrictions and censorship during the government crackdown on protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.

China is understandably very concerned about how Starlink could allow its citizens to bypass its much vaunted Great Firewall to access the Internet, unfiltered.

Chinese military scientists have even called for their government to develop a “hard kill” weapon to destroy Starlink satellites.

Thus it is very unlikely that CCP government will ever approve the marketing and sale of Starlink in China. In fact, they are likely to demand that Starlink be blocked in Chinese territory.

The CCP government certainly does not want Chinese citizens to be able to bypass its Great Firewall by smuggling in Starlink dishes.

And the only way to do that is to pressure Elon Musk into blocking Starlink in China.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

Elon Musk personally blocked Ukraine from accessing Starlink in Russia-occupied Crimea over concerns it could start a nuclear war!

 

Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, Elon Musk and the US government have provided Kyiv with thousands of Starlink systems, providing Ukrainian forces with satellite communications.

The low energy requirements of the Starlink satellite receivers also made it useful in controlling reconnaissance drones which provide valuable, real-time intelligence on Russian forces.

So it’s no wonder Elon Musk has been kind of a hero to the Ukrainian people, until he suggested that Russia should be allowed to keep Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk.

After that suggestion met with a collective “Fuck off” from Ukrainian diplomat Andrij Melnyk and the Ukrainian government in general, Musk was embroiled in more controversy.

According a report published on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, Elon Musk personally rejected a request by Ukraine to use the Starlink satellite Internet service in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Apparently, the SpaceX CEO feared that a Ukrainian assault to retake the peninsula from Russia could lead to a nuclear war after a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read more : Ukraine : 60K Russian Soldiers + 2.4K Tanks Killed!

According to Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer, Elon Musk was asked by the Ukrainian defence ministry to activate Starlink in Crimea, which had been annexed by Russia since 2014.

Musk “refused, given the potential for escalation“, after recently speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin who said that he was “prepared to negotiate“.

That was what apparently led to Elon Musk to propose his much-derided Ukraine peace plan on October 3, 2022.

Ukraine-Russia Peace:

– Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people.

– Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).

– Water supply to Crimea assured.

– Ukraine remains neutral.

This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end – just a question of how many die before then

Also worth noting that a possible, albeit unlikely, outcome from this conflict is nuclear war

 

Elon Musk Denies Speaking With Putin, But Not Blocking Starlink

Elon Musk flatly denied speaking with Vladimir Putin recently, stating that his last conversation with the Russian President was “18 months ago” on “space“.

He also stated that it was “pointless” to speak with Putin, as “there is currently no overlap between Russian and Ukrainian demands” and that “it’s not even close“.

The Russian government backed Musk, with a Kremlin spokesperson stating on Tuesday that Musk and Russian President Putin had a phone call around a year and a half ago, but didn’t specify what was discussed.

Interestingly, even though Elon Musk was quick to deny any recent contact with Putin, he did not deny personally blocking Ukraine from using Starlink in Crimea.

That decision to block Starlink would likely make it very difficult, if not impossible, for Ukrainian forces to send drones to monitor or attack Russian forces in Crimea.

It is also troubling that Musk has the personal power to make decisions that directly affect Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian aggression.

On one hand, Ukraine needs Starlink for secure communications. On the other hand, their secure communications is now dependent on the whims and fancies of one man – Elon Musk.

 

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Fact Check : What China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine!

People are sharing a post by Li Guangman on what China should worry about the Russia-Ukraine War.

Take a look at the viral post, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Li Guangman : What China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine!

Chinese and pro-China netizens have been sharing this post by Chinese blogger Li Guangman on what lessons China should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It’s a very long post, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

Some worries brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war (says Li Guangman)

After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the robbery behavior in the entire Western world broke many Chinese people’s perceptions, which made me feel a strong and deep worry.

PS. I have no idea who Li Guangman is, but apparently, some Community Party folks think he’s important, and have been sharing his posts.

 

Li Guangman Is Wrong About Why China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine

I have no idea if Li Guangman actually wrote that post, but one thing is for sure – it is full of misinformation.

I’m not going to focus on what lessons China should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but I will show you what can be easily and factually proven false in that viral post.

Fact #1 : Corporations Do Not Sanction Countries

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Internet service providers and social media platforms announced sanctions against Russia after they invaded Ukraine.

That never happened, because corporations don’t issue sanctions. Those corporations only decided to stop working with Russia, after Western countries announced sanctions against Russia.

  • Cogent Communications, which is the second-largest Internet connectivity provider in Russia, terminated their contracts there on 4 March 2022 to comply with EU Regulation 2022/350.
  • Lumen terminated their services in Russia on 8 March 2022, to comply with sanction requirements.

Fact #2 : Corporations Chose To Stop Doing Business In Russia

Many corporations decided to stop doing business in Russia, mainly because they are public-listed companies that are answerable to their shareholders, and their customers worldwide.

For many, the limited Russian business they conduct is not worth risking their worldwide business, especially when the rest of the world is stridently against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Automotive : Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan
  • Aviation : Boeing and Airbus
  • Finance : Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, Western Union, Moody’s, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup
  • F&B : Burger King, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nestle, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Yum Brands (KFC and Pizza Hut)
  • Energy : BP, Exxon, Shell, Equinox
  • Big Tech : Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Nintendo, Sony, Spotify, TikTok
  • Hotels : Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott

There is also the issue of sanctions – Western sanctions may also prohibit them from selling their products and services to Russia and/or Belarus.

Fact #3 : US Did Not Launch “Disconnection Action” Against Russia

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that the US launched disconnection action against Russia. That never happened.

The easiest way to do that would be to get ICANN to remove Russian domains from the Internet, which would prevent anyone from accessing any server in Russia.

However, the United States never made such a request. Only Ukraine asked ICANN to do this, but ICANN refused their request.

It is also a very silly claim to make, because it actually benefits the US and Western nations to maintain Internet connectivity to Russia, which allows them to reach out to Russian citizens with the truth.

Fact #4 : Russia Blocked Western Social Media

In fact, Li Guangman (intentionally?) left out the fact that the Russian government itself blocked or restricted access to Western social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The truth is – it does not benefit Russia to let their citizens access uncensored information about their invasion of Ukraine. That’s why they blocked access to Western social media platforms.

This is where Russia is attempting to mimic China in its control of what information citizens can access. China is the undisputed leader in Internet censorship.

Fact #5 : Russia Prepared To Cut Itself Off The Internet

Li Guangman also (intentionally?) left out the fact that Russia was more than prepared to cut itself from the Internet.

The Russians started working on the ability to cut themselves from the Internet in the early 2010s, testing that ability in 2019 and in subsequent years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also signed into law, a set of 2019 amendments called the Sovereign Internet Law (Закон о «суверенном интернете»), that lets the government cut Russia off the rest of the Internet.

Fact #6 : SWIFT Is Controlled By EU, Not US

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) messaging network is not American, but Belgian, based in La Hulpe, Belgium.

As a cooperative society under Belgian law, SWIFT is owned by its members – financial institutions, not countries. In fact, its current chairman is Yawar Shah of Pakistan, while its CEO is Javier Pérez-Tasso of Spain.

Li Guangman (intentionally?) forgot to point out that the United States and Britain had been pushing for Russia to be banned from SWIFT, but EU nations refused earlier.

In the end, the European Union agreed to remove seven Russian banks from SWIFT, instead of the entire country.

The EU also excluded Sberbank (largest bank in Russia) and Gazprombank from the SWIFT removal, so they could still buy oil from Russia.

All proof that SWIFT is controlled by the EU, not the US.

Fact #7 : SWIFT Is Just A Messaging Service

SWIFT is a messaging system that securely transfers “messages containing the payment instructions between financial institutions involved in a transaction“.

It is not a payment system, and therefore, does not hold any funds. Neither does it perform cleaning or settlement services.

After a payment instruction has been initiated through SWIFT, the corresponding financial institutions must then “settle” the transaction through a payment system, like TARGET2 in Europe.

Fact #8 : SWIFT Removal Is Only An Inconvenience

While removal from SWIFT is a big deal, it is not the end of the world for those seven Russian banks, because it is merely a messaging system.

Banks can use alternative methods like faxes (yes, they still exist!) or alternative messaging systems like Russia’s own SPFS, China’s CIPS and India’s SFMS.

  • VEB is largely focused on domestic projects, and uses SPFS for overseas transactions
  • Sovcombank says that other sanctions already block it from making overseas payments, so the SWIFT removal has no impact
  • Promsvyazbank said that it had prepared for SWIFT removal, so it will not have a significant impact
  • VTB and Otkritie said that they would not be impacted

So Li Guangman’s claim that SWIFT removal is a weapon of war is… absurd and melodramatic.

Fact #9 : No One Ever Said Satellites Are Safe From Attacks

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Western nations had earlier claimed that “satellites are safe and will not be attacked“.

No country ever said that. In fact, the United States Space Force was formed, in part, to protect US satellite communications.

The US Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations, General David Thompson even shared in November 2021 that :

Both China and Russia are regularly attacking US satellites with non-kinetic means, including lasers, radio frequency jammers, and cyber attacks… every single day

Li Guangman seems incredibly naive and ignorant about daily attacks on satellites, because the alternative explanation would be that he knew but intentionally chose to mislead you.

Fact #10 : Anonymous Is Not A Government Organisation

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Anonymous is “some government organisations”.

  • Anonymous is a decentralised collective of anonymous hactivists… hence, its name.
  • It is not a government organisation.
  • It has previously attacked several Western governments, including the United States
  • Dozens of people associated with Anonymous cyberattacks have been arrested in the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, India and Turkey.

This is common knowledge, so it is peculiar that Li Guangman is so ignorant about Anonymous… or believes that people are stupid enough to believe him.

Fact #11 : Anonymous Did Not Hack Russian Space Agency

Technically, Anonymous did not hack the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), which was really hacked by their affiliates – NB65 and v0g3lSec.

They never shut down the Russian space control centre, or took any Russian satellite out of control. All those are lies that Li Guangman apparently concocted.

Roscosmos Chief Executive, Dmitry Rogozin also denied the claim, saying that “The information of these scammers and petty swindlers is not true. All our space activity control centers are operating normally.

So you have to ask yourself – why would Li Guangman lie about this? These are all on public record. Does he believe that you are so gullible that you would believe everything he says?

Read more : Anonymous Affiliates Are Attacking Russian Space Agency!

Fact #12 : Sanctioned Assets Were Frozen, Not Seized

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that the assets of Russian government and private individuals were looted (stolen) by Western banks / governments.

As part of sanctions against the Russian government, Western countries also sanctioned certain Russian individuals, including the super-rich Russian oligarchs.

However, their assets were frozen, not seized. At least, not yet.

All individuals sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, for example, will have their assets frozen. Those assets would be locked up, and cannot be sold or accessed in any way.

The owner has to get a licence from the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to do anything – even to just pay property taxes, or fix a leaking roof.

That’s different from the government actually seizing the frozen assets – this requires the government to first prove that they are linked to a crime. Until that happens, the assets have not been “looted”.

According to Michael Parker, head of the anti-money laundering and sanctions practice at Ferrari & Associates :

These cases need to be built, there has to be a showing of some sort of underlying theory of forfeiture, there has to be a reason that they are forfeited. The mere fact that somebody the United States has said is a target owns this asset isn’t enough to form a basis of seizure under U.S. law.

Fact #13 : Only Assets Of Sanctioned Individuals Were Frozen

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that ALL assets belonging to the Russian government and private individuals were stolen by Western banks / government.

Not only were they not stolen, only assets belonging to sanctioned individuals and the Russian government were frozen. The assets of other Russian individuals were not affected.

Chinese netizens need not be overly concerned about their money stashed in Western banks.

Even if China decides to do something similarly evil like Russia, and invade another country, Western banks will only be forced to freeze the assets of those in power, like Chinese President Xi Jinping, for example.

Fact #14 : Less Than US$1 Trillion Frozen So Far

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Western countries froze US$8 trillion worth of assets.

On 5 March, UK Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg tweeted a chart that showed the value of Russian bank assets that were being sanctioned. That was actually criticised as being overly optimistic, but let’s assume it’s true.

That’s a total of £537.6 billion pounds, or US$703.7 billion. Even if you add US$15 billion of assets targeted by sanctioning seven Russian oligarchs, the total is still under US$719 billion.

So Li Guangman overstated the amount of sanctioned Russian assets by some 11X… if not more.

Fact #15 : Switzerland Only Adopts Military Neutrality

Li Guangman appears to be confused by the concept of “Swiss neutrality”, which refers to military neutrality – Switzerland will not be involved in armed or political conflicts between other states.

Switzerland, however, pursues an active foreign policy, and is frequently involved in peace-building processes globally.

Fact #16 : Switzerland Has Adopted EU Sanctions Since 1998

Li Guangman appears to be living in the past, claiming that Switzerland abandoned its neutrality to sanction Russia.

While Switzerland declined to be part of EU, it has been adopting EU-only sanctions for the past 24 years!

  • 1998 : EU sanctions against Yugoslavia
  • 2000 : EU sanctions against Myanmar
  • 2002 : EU sanctions against Zimbabwe
  • 2006 : EU sanctions against Uzbekistan and Belarus
  • 2022 : EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus

Fact #17 : Tech Companies Have To Comply With Sanctions

Li Guangman appears to be surprised that tech companies are complying with sanctions.

Of course, tech companies have to comply with sanctions. If they don’t, they would be legally liable and punished with fines and other legal actions.

In fact, Russia just announced sanctions against a wide range of American officials, including US President Joe Biden. They are expecting companies to comply with those sanctions as well.

We should also remember that China imposed sanctions of her own on US individuals and organisations, and expected companies to comply with their sanctions.

Did he expect companies to only comply with Russian and Chinese sanctions, but not those from Western countries?

Fact #18 : Russia Started The Conflict

Li Guangman claimed that Russia invading of Ukraine is “a real all-out war waged by the entire Western bloc against Russia“. What utter nonsense.

Western nations have repeatedly warned the world that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine since November 2021, even as Russia and pro-Russia forces derided them.

As early as December 2021, US President Joe Biden even threatened Russia with sweeping Western economic sanctions if it invaded Ukraine.

Russia repeatedly denied it was going to invade Ukraine, dismissing those warnings as “hysteria”. But they were lying, and ultimately invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

So let me be clear to Li Guangman and his supporters – the invasion of Ukraine was a war that Russia actively chose to initiate.

This was not a war “waged by the entire Western bloc against Russia“. This was a war that Russia waged against Ukraine.

Until today, the United States and NATO have repeatedly refused to directly defend Ukraine against attacks by Russia. So to call it an “all-out war” is also ludicrous.

This fake news appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

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