Billionaire Elon Musk took to Twitter to offer a peace plan to end the seven-month Russian-led war in Ukraine, an idea that’s sparking outrage on social media and receiving praise from Russian state media.
On Monday, Musk tweeted a four-point plan to end the war, which would see Crimea ceded to Russia, assured water supply to the region, and new referendums under the UN or third-party oversight in four Ukrainian regions recently annexed by Moscow. In addition Musk’s proposal would have Ukraine remain “neutral.” He asked his followers to vote “yes” or “no” in response.
The poll received 2.75 million votes, with 59.1% voting “no” and 40.9% voting “yes”.
Musk also launched a Twitter poll asking whether “the will of the people” should decide if seized regions remain part of Ukraine or become part of Russia. In a sarcastic response, Zelenskyy posted a Twitter poll of his own asking “which Elon Musk do you like more?”: “One who supports Ukraine” or “One who supports Russia.”
Musk replied to Zelenskyy, “I still very much support Ukraine, but am convinced that massive escalation of the war will cause great harm to Ukraine and possibly the world.”
The Kremlin itself chimed in, praising Musk for his proposal but warning that Russia will not backtrack on its move to absorb the Ukrainian regions, according to the Associated Press. “It’s very positive that such a person as Elon Musk is trying to look for a peaceful settlement,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday. But, “as for the referendums, people have voiced their opinion and there could be nothing else.”
The annexation of four regions by Russia following Kremlin-orchestrated “referendums” were denounced by the West as a sham. Since Russia assumed control, however, Ukraine has gained ground. Russian forces retreated as Ukraine recaptured the city of Lyman, located in one of the eastern regions the Kremlin claimed to annex, NPR reported.
In the first weeks of the invasion, Musk came to Ukraine’s aid when his SpaceX company shared its Starlink satellite system to help deliver internet access throughout the region.
Despite the recent gains of Ukrainian forces however, Musk says that victory for Ukraine is unlikely in the event of total war. Elon stated “If you care about the people of Ukraine, seek peace.”