The world’s richest man, Elon Musk, challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to a battle on Monday, putting the fate of Ukraine, the site of Moscow’s horrific invasion, on the line.
The eccentric entrepreneur and creator of aerospace company SpaceX took to Twitter to see whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would put his mettle to the test in person rather than through his country’s military battling over the border.
“I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat. Stakes are Ukraine,” said Musk.
“Do you accept this fight?” he added in Russian, directly addressing the official English-language Twitter account of the 69-year-old president.
Elon Musk is serious about the fight with Russian President
When one of Musk’s 77 million followers wrote that the Tesla founder might not have thought his challenge through, Musk said he was “absolutely serious.”
I hereby challenge
to single combat
Stakes are Україна
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 14, 2022
There was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin.
The South African-born Musk, 50, had already offered his support for Kyiv, tweeting “Hold strong Ukraine” this month while also offering “my sympathies to the great people of Russia, who do not want this” war.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Musk has given Ukrainian officials access to SpaceX’s satellite-internet system Starlink, which has more than 2,000 satellites designed to bring web access to underserved areas of the world, Bloomberg News reported.
Musk often raises eyebrows on Twitter
In February he accused the US stock market regulator, which had imposed fines and restrictions on Musk and Tesla, of trying to muzzle his free speech.
And he compared Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to Adolf Hitler in a message supporting opponents of government COVID restrictions.
He later deleted the post.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Representatives of the two countries are due to meet on Monday for the fourth time to continue talks.