Elon Musk and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky crossed swords on Twitter after the Tesla boss suggested a way to end the Ukraine war. The wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of around $238 billion suggested a Twitter poll on arriving at Ukraine-Russia peace.
Musk's proposal has garnered 2,411,973 votes and counting with seven hours left. But this hasn't gone down well with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky. In fact, it has fired him up.
The Tesla CEO proposed Ukraine-Russia Peace, to his 107.7 million followers, with four options, wherein the first is redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people; the second being Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev's mistake); third is Water supply to Crimea assured; and the fourth being Ukraine remains neutral. Twitter users have to vote "yes" or "no" on the proposals.
As a response Zelensky came up with his own poll. The Ukrainian president asked his 6.6 million Twitter followers to choose which Elon Musk they liked more. He provided them with two options to vote on – One who supports Ukraine; and One who supports Russia. Zelensky's poll has already gained 1,990,799 votes and counting with nine hours left.
Elon Musk replied that he still very much supports Ukraine, but is convinced that massive escalation of the war will cause great harm to Ukraine and possibly the world. He believes the highly likely outcome will be Ukraine's neutrality – "just a question of how many people die before then. Also worth noting that a possible albeit unlikely, outcome from this conflict is nuclear war."
Musk added that 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 more than three times population of Ukraine, so victory for Ukraine is unlikely in total war. If you care about the people of Ukraine, seek peace."
Musk's Twitter Poll has attracted votes from people all over the world from all walks of life, including the common man, diplomats and media outlets. Dmitry Grozoubinski, a Ukrainian-born former Australian diplomat, described the poll as just insane. "First, it's just insane to poll people in an active and contested warzone, even during a ceasefire. The UN observers aren't staying forever. What happens to voters who vote the wrong way after one side wins?"
Andrij Melnyk, Ukraine's outgoing ambassador to Germany, tweeted f**k which described his very diplomatic reply. And Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov said its moral idiocy, repetition of Kremlin propaganda, a betrayal of Ukrainian courage and sacrifice. Ukrainian media outlet Kyiv Post tweeted, "Elon, you're a cool guy and thanks for the Starlink but it'd be so very wonderful if you were to carry out votes on things that you know about. We don't carry out votes on apartheid and Nelson Mandela."
Another user reminded Musk that according to international law, Crimea is Ukraine. "As for your appeal to the historical truth, which is different for each nation, one can claim that Moscow should go back to Ukraine because once it was part of the Kievan Rus with Kiev as its capital.