Ukrainian officials, including President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, shot back at Elon Musk on Monday after the billionaire SpaceX and Tesla CEO tweeted out a poll proposing that Ukraine cede some of its territory and hold new elections in areas annexed by Russia in order to achieve peace.
“This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end — just a question of how many die before then,” Musk wrote, adding that another possible outcome would be nuclear war.
“Russia is doing partial mobilization. They go to full war mobilization if Crimea is at risk. Death on both sides will be devastating,” Musk tweeted hours later. “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.”
Responses from Ukrainian officials and supporters were swift and unsparing.
“Which @elonmusk do you like more?” Zelenskyy tweeted, including a poll that had options for “One who supports Ukraine” and “One who supports Russia.” As of Monday afternoon, 89.5 percent of the nearly 400,000 people who responded to the poll selected the former.
Zelenskyy wasn’t the only one to call Musk out online. Ukrainian diplomat Andriy Melnyk was quick to reply, tweeting, “Fuck off is my very diplomatic reply to you @elonmusk.” Melnyk served as Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, but left the post in September after being dismissed by Zelenskyy for remarks he made about a Ukrainian nationalist leader who worked with the Nazis.
One of Zelenskyy’s advisers, Mykhailo Podolyak, responded with a revised version of Musk’s poll:
President Gitanas Nausėda of Lithuania also came to the defense of his country’s ally.
“Dear @elonmusk, when someone tries to steal the wheels of your Tesla, it doesn’t make them legal owner of the car or of the wheels. Even though they claim both voted in favor of it. Just saying,” Nausėda wrote.
The Baltic nation has offered strong support for Ukraine, urging NATO to act quickly in Ukraine’s membership process.
Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) had much to say in response to Musk, calling his proposed plan “Pretty much the worst idea I’ve read.”
“The only way for peace is for Russia to be kicked out of Ukraine … where it doesn’t belong,” Kinzinger said in a separate tweet. “You cant satisfy a demon with a land sacrifice.”
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