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Elon Musk Mockingly Challenges Vladimir Putin to ‘Single Combat’

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


SpaceX and Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk took aim at Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Monday tweet, challenging him to “single combat,” ostensibly as a means of ending the latter’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat,” Musk tweeted, using the Russian alphabet to spell the Kremlin leader’s name.

“Stakes are Ukraine,” he noted further, writing the country’s name in Ukrainian.

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Musk followed up his initial post with two more. In the first, he said in response to a user’s question that he was “absolutely serious” about his challenge.

Then, in the second, he asked Putin in Russian Musk in Russian, “Do you agree to this fight?”

As the Daily Wire added:

The posts come after Musk’s personal involvement to support Ukraine through his donations of Starlink technology. The Starlink terminals from Musk had reportedly arrived in Ukraine to help get critical satellite internet service to many in the nation since Russia’s invasion more than two weeks ago.

Musk was recently praised for responding to the Ukrainian government’s plea to provide SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service so that Ukrainians could access the internet after Russian military forces invaded the country.

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Musk responded on social media to a tweet from Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, who tweeted: “@elonmusk, while you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”

“Starlink service is now active in Ukraine,” Musk said in his reply. “More terminals en route.”

As recorded then by the Daily Wire, the response to Musk’s overture was overwhelmingly positive. Here are just a few of those initial responses:

  • Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine: “Starlink terminals are coming to Ukraine! Thank you @elonmusk , thank you everyone, who supported Ukraine!”
  • Robert C. O’Brien, former national security adviser: “I said in my remarks to @CPAC today that @elonmusk is one of the reasons America will ultimately prevail against #Russia and #China. Below is Exhibit A in support of my argument. #Ukraine #Freedom”
  • Payton Alexander, attorney: “The people of Ukraine, an embattled war-torn country, will now receive high speed, low latency, broadband internet from space. Russia cannot touch it.”
  • Klon Kitchen, AEI senior fellow: “Awesome. Also, a major example of how the national security burden is now shared with the private sector in fundamental and powerful ways. Well done @elonmusk (but we should talk about China).”
  • Maye Musk, Elon Musk’s mother: “@elonmusk Wonderful! #ProudMom #StopTheWar #Ukraine.”
  • Bel Trew, reporter: “Well this is quite something. One of the biggest fears among Ukrainians I’ve been speaking to is being completely cut off from the world while the worst attacks happens.”
  • Scott Adams, political commentator: “Pushes a button and changes the course of history.”

Shortly after those initial terminals arrived, Musk returned to Twitter to issue a warning to Starlink users that they should take care to guard them against detection by Russian forces.

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“Important warning: Starlink is the only non-Russian communications system still working in some parts of Ukraine, so probability of being targeted is high,” he said in a tweet. “Please use with caution.”

“Turn on Starlink only when needed and place antenna away as far away from people as possible,” the CEO added.

“Place light camouflage over antenna to avoid visual detection,” he said.

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Musk followed up his initial gift with additional Starlink systems upon a request from Ukrainian officials.

“Received the second shipment of Starlink stations! @elonmusk keeps his word!” Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, tweeted. “Thank you for supporting Ukraine and peace in the entire world! @OMarkarova thanks!”

“You’re welcome,” Musk responded. “We have also sent power adapters for car cigarette lighters, solar/battery packs and generators for places where electricity is not available.”

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