Elon Musk, a dubious ally
The head of Tesla and SpaceX sparked outrage in Ukraine on Monday (October 3) by posting a poll on Twitter urging his 107 million followers to vote on his proposed “peace plan” for the Russia-Ukraine war. . Among his proposals are recognition of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, neutral status for Ukraine and the holding of referendums under the auspices of the United Nations on September 30 to determine whether the four annexed regions of Ukraine want to remain part of Russia.
Elon Musk, clearly worried about a potential nuclear fire, says his plan will be “ likely Similar to one whose conflict will eventually come to an end, he says the only unknown is the number of people who will have lost their lives by then. “Russia has begun partial mobilization and will move to general mobilization if Crimea becomes a threat.” he added and noted that in the case of “total war” Ukraine’s victory will be difficult; because the population of Russia “Three times from Ukraine”.
Unanimous criticism of the Ukrainian authorities
The billionaire’s messages exposed him to unanimous criticism from Kiev. “Which Elon Musk do you prefer: the one who supports Ukraine or the one who supports Russia?” », Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky answered a poll on Twitter, and 2 million Internet users praised the first answer. Advisor to the President, Mihailo Podoliak, reacted and suggested “a better peace plan” including “The liberation of its territories by Ukraine, including the annexed Crimea” and one “Demilitarization and Denuclearization” of Russia. Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, invited Elon Musk in less reprehensible language. “go fuck yourself”.
Russia’s annexation of Kherson, Zaporozhye, Donetsk and Lugansk regions on September 30 convinced Kiev to rule out any negotiations with the Russian Federation during Vladimir Putin’s presidency. Elon Musk’s invitation to compromise may come as a surprise, especially given his direct financial support to the Ukrainian military since the invasion began on February 24.
The American billionaire has presented Ukraine with Starlink kits developed by his company SpaceX, which provide Ukrainian soldiers with valuable internet connection through “constellations” of low-orbit satellites. Recently, on September 29, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine released a video in which several soldiers thanked Elon Musk for providing them with this communication equipment.
Arrogance and advertising promotion
Before Ukraine, the businessman had already sent Starlink sets in recent years to regions of the world affected by natural disasters, for example, after the volcanic eruption in Tonga in January 2022. the techno-industrial empire will design a “mini-submarine” in 2018 aimed at rescuing Thai teenagers stuck in a cave.
These “humanitarian” interventions include an obvious advertising dimension that can be criticized. Commentators thus assert that the deployment of Starlink in Ukraine is also a counterbalance to the criticism leveled by the scientific community at this constellation of low-orbit satellites, which are accused of hindering space observation.
Olivier Lascar, the author of the book, confirms that the advertising side of these actions does not differ from the billionaire’s sincere belief that technology can solve all problems. A study of Elon Musk defying science (Ed. Alisio). The journalist also sees a sign of Elon Musk’s “arrogance” in his “peace plan”. “It’s typical of his sense of omnipotence and his rather volatile character. He continuously claims to be doing things for the welfare of mankind. But we often get the impression that he strikes first and thinks later. The results are sometimes detrimental to his business, but it preserves his character as a free man. »
“Of course, we support Ukraine”
Despite his financial support for Ukraine, the businessman was also distinguished by his casual, even ambiguous position in relation to the conflict. On March 14, he challenged Vladimir Putin on Twitter “single combat” whose share will be the fate of Ukraine. That same day, he posted a picture of a skinny man waving a Ukrainian flag against a background of LGBT flags: “ I support the current point».
Faced with angry reactions to his “peace plan”, the world’s richest man ($223 billion according to Bloomberg) said on October 4 that Starlink delivery to Ukraine has already cost SpaceX $80 million. “Our support to Russia is 0 dollars. Of course, we are pro-Ukraine. » To one user who took him to task, the billionaire denied having the slightest ulterior motive: “You assume I want to be popular. I’m not interested. »