Ukraine has slammed Elon Musk for promoting a Twitter video by Tucker Carlson, in which the former Fox News anchor said Ukraine blew up the Nova Kakhovka dam in Russian-controlled southern Ukraine, and called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy “sweaty and rat-like”.The Nova Kakhovka dam was destroyed on Tuesday morning, affecting some 80,000 people in Kherson, southern Ukraine. People were pictured being rescued from trees and rooftops on Wednesday, as the banks of the Dnipro river swelled with excess water released from the crucial hydroelectric dam. Kyiv has blamed Russia for the attack, which comes as Ukraine prepares to launch a much-anticipated counteroffensive. Russian troops were shelling civilian areas as they were being evacuated on Wednesday morning, according to the region’s governor.
Moscow, however, has said Ukraine deliberately blew up the dam. The dam is in territory controlled by Russia, but Zelenskyy warned last year that Russia had mined the dam. The breach will likely affect water supplies for Russian-occupied Crimea. Carlson’s Twitter video has already been picked up and cited by Russian state media.Carlson, who was abruptly fired by Fox in April, released his own video under the banner “Tucker on Twitter,” in which he said that “any fair person would conclude that the Ukrainians probably blew [the dam] up, just as you would assume they blew up Nord Stream, the Russian natural gas pipeline last fall.”“Blowing up the dam may be bad for Ukraine, but it hurts Russia more,” he said.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Zelenskyy, tweeted his disgust at Carlson’s video, and for Musk for promoting it.“@elonmusk : ‘Idea, let's listen to @TuckerCarlson 's blog with conspiracy theories that Ukraine itself did it!’. Is this some kind of outright form of absurdity? Or is it a proof of the theory that the more absurd the lie, the easier it is to sell?,” he tweeted.
Carlson has been known to push conspiracy theories, including the racist “great replacement theory” that white Americans are being replaced by people from other ethnic groups. He has repeatedly boosted pro-Vladimir Putin narratives, and his departure from Fox was mourned by Russian state media.
Musk also has a mixed record on Ukraine. A diplomat told him to “fuck off” when he tweeted a suggested peace deal to end the war, something VICE News reported Musk only did so after speaking directly with Putin. However, Ukraine’s vice prime minister and minister of digital transformation told VICE News last year that Musk was “definitely” an ally of Ukraine, largely due to him providing the country with Starlink stations and access to satellite-based internet in the early days of the war.In his video about the dam, Carlson refers to Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, as “sweaty and rat-like,” “a persecutor of Christians” and being in cahoots with major financial institutions.“What’s happened to the hundreds of billions of US dollars we’ve sent to Ukraine? No clue,” he went on. “Who organised those Black Lives Matter riots three years ago? No one’s gotten to the bottom of that. What exactly happened on 9/11? Well, it’s still classified.” He also used the 10-minute video to touch on the topic of UFOs, accusing the media of downplaying a claim from whistleblower David Grusch that the US government has found alien vehicles. “That’s what the former intel officer revealed, and it was clear he was telling the truth,” said Carlson. “In other words, UFOs are actually real, and apparently so is extraterrestrial life. “Now, in a normal country, this news would qualify as a bombshell, the story of the millennium. But in our country, it doesn’t.”