Ukrainian officials unfazed by Elon’s ‘peace plan’

By Catherine Thorbecke CNN

Elon Musk drew backlash from Ukrainian officials Monday, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, for his unsolicited advice on how to bring about “peace” amid the ongoing Russian invasion of the country.

In a Twitter poll, Musk proposed a path to “Ukraine-Russia peace” that would involve repeating “UN-supervised” elections in the country’s recently illegally annexed regions of the country. The land grab, which covers nearly a fifth of Ukraine, followed referenda that were widely dismissed as “bogus” by much of the world.

Tesla’s billionaire CEO also suggested that Crimea, a region that Russia invaded in 2014 and was annexed by Ukraine, “formally belongs to Russia.” He added in bullet points: “Crimea’s water supply secured” and “Ukraine remains neutral”.

Ukraine and most of the world reject any implication of Russian sovereignty over the regions it occupies, and Ukraine has vowed to take back its lands.

“It started in Crimea and will end in Crimea, and this will be an effective revival of the international legal order,” Zelenskyy said at the Crimean Platform summit in August. Zelenskyi has repeatedly stressed that Ukraine will not cede any of its territory to Russia.

A majority of respondents on Twitter voted “no” in response to Musk’s poll. In a sequel tweetMusk appeared to attribute these results to a “bot attack.”

Musk himself and one of his companies, SpaceX, got involved early in the war in Ukraine after SpaceX sent Starlink internet terminals, which can be operated from anywhere with electricity and a clear view of the sky, to the war-torn country.

But his latest musings were not well received by Ukrainian officials after months of war that left a trail of untold devastation in the region.

“F—off is my very diplomatic answer to you,” wrote Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk answer to Musk’s Twitter thread.

Zelenskyy began a Own Twitter polland asked his followers: “Which @elonmusk do you like more?” The options: “One supporting Ukraine” and “One supporting Russia” (the former had received more than 80% of the votes as of Monday afternoon).

Kyiv Post, a Ukrainian news agency, too answered on Musk’s poll, referring to his South African birthplace. “Elon you’re a cool guy and thanks for the Starlink but it would be so wonderful if you voted on things you know about. We do not vote on apartheid and Nelson Mandela,” the publication wrote.

Russian officials, on the other hand, welcomed Musk’s tweets. Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia and former President and Prime Minister of Russia, tweeted Musk praised him and predicted that Musk’s next tweet would say that “Ukraine is an artificial state.”

Musk continued to tweet defenses for his first Twitter thread, seeming to suggest that Ukraine, which recently began rapidly retaking territory in its northeast, including the strategically important Lyman transport hub, stood little chance of victory.

Musk’s foreign policy comment came a day after Tesla announced lower-than-expected third-quarter delivery and production numbers, and days after the automaker unveiled a disappointing humanoid robot. It also comes as his legal battle with Twitter heats up over his attempt to back out of his proposed $44 billion deal to buy the company. Ukrainian officials unfazed by Elon’s ‘peace plan’

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