Billionaire Elon Musk asked Twitter users to weigh in on a plan to end Russia’s war in Ukraine, with President Volodymyr Zelensky responding with his own poll.
Musk suggested that Crimea, which Moscow seized in 2014, be formally recognized as Russia, that water supply to Crimea be assured and that Ukraine remain neutral. He asked Twitter users to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the plan.
In response, Ukraine president Zelensky tweeted “Which @elonmusk do you like more?” Zelensky tweeted, offering two responses: one who supports Ukraine, one who supports Russia.
Ukraine’s outspoken outgoing ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, had a blunt reaction to Musk’s peace plan. Melnyk himself faced criticism in July for defending World War Two Ukrainian nationalist leader Stepan Bandera. “Fuck off is my very diplomatic reply to you @elonmusk,” tweeted Melnyk.
Musk, who is also chief executive of SpaceX, followed up his first tweet with another poll: “Let’s try this then: the will of the people who live in the Donbas & Crimea should decide whether they’re part of Russia or Ukraine.”
He said he didn’t care if his proposal was unpopular, arguing that he did care “that millions of people may die needlessly for an essentially identical outcome.”
“Russia has >3 times population of Ukraine, so victory for Ukraine is unlikely in total war. If you care about the people of Ukraine, seek peace,” he posted on Twitter.
In February, when Ukraine’s internet was disrupted following Russia’s invasion, Musk had provided SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service in Ukraine.