Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky fired back at Elon Musk over Twitter on Monday after the Tesla CEO shared a poll suggesting a redo of elections in annexed regions.
Musk’s proposed peace plan asked followers to vote on whether a “redo” of elections under UN supervision should take place in eastern Ukrainian territories recently annexed to Russia. “Russia leaves if that is the will of the people,” the billionaire suggested. The rumored soon-to-be Twitter owner further suggested Ukraine become a neutral country and guarantee Crimea’s water supply. “This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end – just a question of how many die before then,” Musk added. His poll garnered more than 2.5 million votes.
– 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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 3, 2022
The Tesla CEO also referred to Crimea as “Krushchev’s Mistake,” referencing the Soviet leader’s transfer of the long-held Russian territory to Ukraine in 1954 when both were part of the USSR. Russia used Crimea’s historical status to justify its invasion and illegal annexation of the peninsula in 2014. (RELATED: Putin Signs Decree Bringing Ukrainian Territory Under Russian Rule)
President Zelensky quickly countered on Twitter with a sharply worded poll of his own. “Which Elon Musk do you like more,” he asked users. “One who supports Ukraine” or “One who supports Russia?” The Ukrainian leader previously took to Twitter to praise the tech mogul’s support of Ukraine in “word and deed” following the delivery of Starlink systems in March 2022.
Which @elonmusk do you like more?
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) October 3, 2022
Criticism from Ukraine’s top office holders didn’t stop there. Ukrainian diplomat Andriy Melnyk not-so-diplomatically advised Musk to “fuck off” in a response on Twitter. “Those who propose Ukraine to give up on its people and land … must stop using word “peace” as an euphemism to ‘let Russians murder and rape thousands more innocent Ukrainians, and grab more land,’” Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kulebo tweeted.
Musk has justified his resolution, arguing the “highly likely” result of the conflict is better reached peacefully rather than through a potential nuclear conflict amid escalating NATO-Russia tensions.