American tech billionaire Elon Musk made a peace proposal to end the war in Ukraine on Monday, which was condemned by Ukraine’s President.
In a tweet, Musk suggested UN-supervised elections in four occupied regions that Moscow has falsely annexed after what it called referendums. The votes were denounced by Kyiv and Western governments as illegal and coercive. “Russia leaves if that is will of the people,” Musk wrote.
The Tesla Chief Executive also 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 to his idea.
He said that this “is highly likely to be the outcome in the end—just a question of how many die before then.” He added that “a possible, albeit unlikely,…outcome from this conflict is nuclear war.”
– Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people.
– Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).
– Water supply to Crimea assured.
– Ukraine remains neutral.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 3, 2022
By the early hours of Tuesday, more than 2,178,000 Twitter users voted on Musk’s proposal. The result of the Twitter poll will be presumably announced later on Tuesday.
Elon Musk’s peace proposal infuriates Ukraine
The tweet infuriated Ukrainians, and President Volodymyr Zelensky responded with his own poll. “Which @elonmusk do you like more?” Zelensky tweeted, offering two responses: one who supports Ukraine or one who supports Russia.
Ukrainian Presidential Aide Mykhaylo Podolyak suggested a “better peace plan” under which Ukraine would take back its territories including Crimea and Russia would be demilitarized and denuclearised. Furthermore, “war criminals” would face an international tribunal.
Ukraine’s outspoken, outgoing ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, had a blunt reaction. “Fuck off is my very diplomatic reply to you @elonmusk,” tweeted Melnyk.
Other European leaders also voiced their opposition to Musk’s plan.
“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,” Lithuania’s President, Gitanas Nausėda, tweeted in response. “Even though they claim both voted in favor of it. Just saying.”