Ukrainian City Removes Elon Musk's Face from Celebratory Billboard

The tech billionaire has gone from champion of Ukraine to target of scorn after a week of truly bad posts.
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City of Odessa Telegram channel.

The city of Odessa in southern Ukraine has covered up a photo of Elon Musk on a billboard following his comments on Twitter about a peace deal with Russia. 

“The advertising department removes the photo of Elon Musk from the billboards, which we used to thank for supporting Ukraine,” a Telegram channel linked to the Odessa city government said above of a video of a worker papering over the picture of the billionaire. The billboard sits above a road and shows off a few celebrities next to the words, “Thanks for the Support of Ukraine.”


Musk ended up on the billboard in the first place because he donated Starlink terminals to Ukraine in an effort to keep them online during the war. Ukraine’s love for Musk began to turn last Monday when the billionaire tweeted his hairbrained scheme for bringing peace to the region: redo the elections in the annexed regions and keep Crimea in Russia. Ukrainian politicians and diplomats told him to fuck off.

Musk doubled down over the next few days, fighting with South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham about the issue and posting a decade old map he claimed showed support for Russian rule. Around the same time, Ukrainian officials began to tell journalists they were having trouble with their Starlink terminals.

Odessa is an important part of Ukraine’s war. It’s a major Black Sea port in Ukraine, the place through which its grain shipments flow, and a constant target for Moscow’s assault. It has been the repeated target of missile strikes during the war. Just this morning, Ukraine’s military reported it had shot down a drone above the city. 

The billboard was a place for the city to celebrate celebrities it saw as heroes. Benedict Cumberbatch is there because he brought Ukrainian refugees into his home. Emilia Clarke is there because of her early support and fundraising efforts. Leonardo DiCaprio has also shown his support for the country and was the subject of a disproved rumor early in the war that he’d donated $10 million and that his family was from Odessa. Elon Musk was there too because of the Starlink terminals.

But now Musk is advocating the Kremlin’s position in public, commanders are complaining about the Starlink terminals not working, and the city of Odessa is covering up Musk’s visage on its celebratory billboard.