On Monday, US billionaire Elon Musk engaged in a social media spat with Ukrainian leaders, including President Volodymyr Zelensky, over his proposals for ending Russia’s invasion.
Musk triggered the debate on Twitter by proposing a peace plan that included re-running annexation referendums in Moscow-occupied Ukrainian regions under UN supervision, admitting Russian sovereignty over the Crimean peninsula, and giving Ukraine neutral status.
The Tesla and SpaceX founder created a poll to allow his 107 million followers to vote on the idea.
Zelensky answered with his own Twitter poll, asking, “Which @elonmusk do you like more?” with the options “One who supports Ukraine” and “One who supports Russia.”
Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, responded bluntly: “My very diplomatic response [to Musk] is to get lost.”
Mykhaylo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential aide, proposed a “better peace plan” in which Ukraine reclaimed its lands, including Crimea. Russia was demilitarized and denuclearized, and “war criminals” faced an international tribunal.
Musk later stated that Moscow might declare full mobilization, resulting in a “full war” in which “death on both sides will be devastating” due to Russia’s significantly larger population.
“Victory for Ukraine is unlikely in total war. If you care about the people of Ukraine, seek peace,” he wrote on Twitter.
After ordering a partial mobilization to reinforce his military and threatening to use nuclear weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin has urged Ukraine to halt hostilities and negotiate.
Zelensky has stated that he will never negotiate with Russia as long as Putin is the country’s leader.