Elon Musk has raised the ire of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his close associates after he ran a Twitter poll asking his millions of followers for their opinions on the ongoing conflict.
Musk proposed a peace plan for Russia and Ukraine, suggesting that the elections of the annexed regions by Russia be conducted under United Nations supervision, while simultaneously calling on the world to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.
Musk stated that Crimea ought to be recognized as a part of Russia “as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake),” and that water supply to Crimea be assured by Ukraine.
Notably, Ukraine cut off the water supply to Crimea following the region’s referendum to join Russia in 2014, causing widespread devastation to crops.
Finally, Musk called on Ukraine to remain neutral.
“This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end – just a question of how many die before then,” added Musk. “Also worth noting that a possible, albeit unlikely, outcome from this conflict is nuclear war.”
At the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine earlier this year, Musk responded to Ukraine’s calls for help by offering the Zelensky government use of his Starlink internet satellites. Despite Musk’s calls for peace, which fly in the face of demands that NATO go to war with Russia, Musk maintains that he is a Ukraine supporter.
Musk’s remarks infuriated Ukrainians, prompting President Zelensky to create his own poll, asking his audience which Elon Musk they preferred, one who supports Ukraine, or one who supports Russia.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksii Arestovych posted a photo-shopped image of Musk on a Russian prisoner of war in handcuffs, suggesting that Musk be arrested for crimes against the Ukrainian state.
“F**k off is my very diplomatic reply to you @elonmusk,” wrote Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andyir Melnyk.
Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak said that he had a “better peace plan” under which Ukraine would reaffirm its dominance of Crimea, and see to the full demilitarization and denuclearize of Russia.
Musk got into a heated spat with Russian presidential hopeful and chess grand master Garry Kasparov, who called Musk’s remarks “moral idiocy,” and a “repetition of Kremlin propaganda, a betrayal of Ukrainian courage & sacrifice,” among other things.
Musk replied to say that he provided Starlink services to Ukraine and lost upwards of $80 million in doing so, while putting himself and his company at risk of Russian retaliation.
Musk asked: “What have you done besides tweet?”