The world’s wealthiest man Elon Musk has faced heavy criticism after sharing how he believes the war in Ukraine should end.
Taking to Twitter Musk asked his 107 million followers to vote in a poll about whether or not annexed regions of Ukraine should be part of Russia.
He went on to tweet that it was “unlikely” Ukraine would win the war and that “death on both sides would be devastating”.
Musk’s tweets have been condemned by Ukraine but well-received by Russia who called them “positive”.
The billionaire CEO is known for his controversial use of social media, but this time, he is being called out by world leaders including Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky who started a Twitter poll of his own.
So does Elon Musk support Russia and what exactly did he say? Here’s everything you need to know.
What did Elon Musk say?
The Tesla CEO has caused widespread anger on Twitter after he offered a poll asking followers to decide whether the Donbas and Crimea are part of Ukraine or Russia.
The contested areas voted recently in what Western governments have declared as a “sham” referendum to be annexed by Russia.
Musk tweeted: “Let’s try this then: the will of the people who live in the Donbas & Crimea should decide whether they’re part of Russia or Ukraine.”
He went on to offer four proposals for “Ukraine-Russia Peace”, stating they should either: “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.
The world’s richest person then followed-up declaring victory for Ukraine “is unlikely”, tweeting: “ Russia is doing partial mobilization. They go to full war mobilization if Crimea is at risk. Death on both sides will be devastating. Russia has >3 times population of Ukraine, so victory for Ukraine is unlikely in total war. If you care about the people of Ukraine, seek peace.”
Does he support Russia?
Musk has not openly declared that he supports Russia. In fact, when the war broke out in February 2022 he took to Twitter to challenge Vladimir Putin in single combat.
His tweet read: “I hereby challenge Владимир Путин to single combat Stakes are Україна”
He also sent Starlink internet terminals from SpaceX to Ukraine to help with the war effort.
What has Ukraine said?
The Twitter poll drew an angry response from Ukraine officials, with one diplomat telling Musk to “f**k off”.
In response, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky followed up with a Twitter poll of his own, asking whether his followers preferred an Elon Musk who “supports Ukraine” or “One who supports Russia.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk responded swiftly to Musk’s poll telling the SpaceX Ceo: “F**k off is my very diplomatic reply to you”.
Whilst Lithuania’s president, Gitanas Nausėda replied: “Dear @elonmusk, when someone tries to steal the wheels of your Tesla, it doesn’t make them legal owner of the car or of the wheels. Even though they claim both voted in favour of it. Just saying.”
What has Russia said?
Russia responded positively to Musk’s comments stating that it was “very positive”.
Speaking to Russian media on Tuesday4 October, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said it was “very positive” that a person like Musk is “looking for ways out of the situation around Ukraine.”
Adding: “Compared to many professional diplomats, Musk is still searching for ways to achieve peace. And achieving peace without fulfilling Russia’s conditions is absolutely impossible.”