“What have you done besides tweet?” Elon Musk to Garry Kasparov on Ukraine

“What have you done besides tweet?” Elon Musk to Garry Kasparov on Ukraine


On Monday the 3rd of October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared on Twitter his thoughts on how to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including a poll for people to vote. Former World Champion Garry Kasparov negatively criticised Musk’s “solution” to start a debate.

Photo: Gerry Kasparov: Maarten de Groot/Kasparovchess.com, Elon Musk: Reuters

The world’s wealthiest man Elon Musk made four proposals for “Ukraine-Russia Peace” in a tweet: Formally recognizing the Crimean peninsula as Russian territory (Russia illegally annexed the area from Ukraine in 2014), ensuring a steady water supply to Crimea, Ukraine committing to remain neutral and not join NATO, and having the United Nations oversee another round of referendums to join Russia in several eastern Ukrainian regions, allowing Russia to overtake the regions if the vote passes.

These proposals were followed by a poll in which more than 2 millions have replied so far, with the 60.2% saying “No”, and two more comments by Musk saying: “This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end – just a question of how many die before then. Also worth noting that a possible, albeit unlikely, outcome from this conflict is nuclear war.”

Illia Ponomarenko, a reporter at the Kyiv Independent and one of the most prominent journalists covering the war, wrote in response: “People – Elon Musk simply said something stupid on Twitter regarding a thing he has very little idea about. A failed sh**posting attempt deserves getting ridiculed into oblivion, but there’s no point making an enemy out of him now.” Also, Ukrainian diplomat Andrij Melnyk responsed: “Fuck off is my very diplomatic reply to you @elonmusk,” and quickly going viral, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky tweeted out a poll of his own, asking if people like a pro-Russia or pro-Ukraine Musk better.

Garry Kasparov couldn’t leave Musk’s tweet without a comment. “This is moral idiocy, repetition of Kremlin propaganda, a betrayal of Ukrainian courage & sacrifice, and puts a few minutes browsing Crimea on Wikipedia over the current horrific reality of Putin’s bloody war.” Kasparov tweeted, adding: “Who are you to reward years of Putin’s war crimes with Ukrainian blood and land? To declare done what evil crimes must be undone? It is not too late to delete this and say you were high. Please do. Rebutting the known fallacies: 1) Ukraine was neutral in 2014 and Russia attacked & occupied it, invading again this year. Never again. 2) The greatest nuclear threat comes from concessions to Putin, not standing up to him. 3) The only real peace will be when Russia is defeated. 4) Legitimizing the change of national borders by force is the way of dictators, not the free world. 5) Ukrainian people and territory are not baubles to be traded or sold by third parties, let alone to a dictatorship committed to their ethnic cleansing and slaughter.”

Elon Musk decided to respond but in an offensive, passive-aggressive way rather than a constructive one.

“And I praised you as so many did for those acts. But should good deeds purchase immunity for later bad ones, or should every act & statement be judged on its merits? Should Ukrainians who thanked you for Starlink be silent when you spread Kremlin talking points against them?” Kasparov replied, as well as thousands of people showing their support to Garry.


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