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Elon Musk is tweeting maps of Ukraine and suggesting that large parts of the country be broken up and handed to Russia.Earlier this week the world’s richest man was thanked by the Kremlin for what it called a “positive” proposal to end the war that would see Ukraine permanently cede annexed territory to Russia.
The reaction from Ukraine was more succinct: A diplomat told him to “fuck off” while President Volodymyr Zelenskyy mocked Musk’s diplomacy-by-Twitter-poll with a poll of his own.
On Thursday, in response to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham saying that Musk’s peace proposal was “dumb,” Musk tweeted a map of Ukrainian election results from 2012, suggesting that the will of the people in eastern Ukraine should be recognised, and they be allowed to become Russian, or something.
There are flaws with this approach though, flaws that are blindingly obvious to most people. Since 2012 war has broken out in the east between Russian-backed separatists in 2014, Russia annexed Crimea, and earlier this year Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and was accused of multiple human rights violations and war crimes.Musk is, up until this point anyway, popular in Ukraine for dispatching Starlink internet terminals to help keep Ukraine connected after Russia’s invasion. He maintains he is pro-Ukraine, and merely trying to avoid nuclear war.
That said, his latest tweets are already being cited by the Kremlin and Russian state media.
Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson, also said on Thursday that Musk’s latest post was a “statement of reality.”
President Zelenskyy was elected on a pro-European mandate in 2019. While the pro-Russia party did win support and gain seats in the east of the country, it did not stand on a platform of joining Russia outright, and it did condemn the invasion, although the party was forcefully disbanded this year due to its links with Russia.Ukraine voted overwhelmingly in 1991 to become independent, with a majority in every region.