Elon Musk has challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to “single combat” on Twitter—with the “stakes” being Ukraine.
In a bizarre Tweet posted on March 14, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX wrote, “I hereby challenge [Vladimir Putin] to single combat,” using the Russian alphabet to write Putin's name. He then wrote in Ukrainian that the stakes of the fight would, in fact, be Ukraine.
In a follow-up Tweet, Musk tagged the Kremlin’s official Twitter account and asked in Russian, “Do you agree to this fight?” Unsurprisingly, it appears Musk has yet to receive a response.
I hereby challenge
to single combat
Stakes are Україна
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 14, 2022
In subsequent Tweets to followers, Muck maintained that he is "absolutely serious" about his challenge to Putin, boasting about one time when he claims he managed to "throw [a] world champion sumo wrestler, but at the cost of smashing a disc in [his] neck that caused insane back pain for 7 years."
Questionable credentials aside, it's unclear why Musk believes he has the authority to stake an entire country in a "single combat" fight against a notorious oligarch.
While Putin has not responded to the call to arms, the director-general of Russia’s space program has. Program leader Dmitry Rogozin replied to Musk with a verse from Alexander Pushkin’s folk tale “The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda.” According to a translation by Forbes, the excerpt reads, “You, little devil, are still young. You are weak to compete with me, it would only be a waste of time. Overtake my brother first.”
Aside from risking the entire country in an unsanctioned "single combat," Musk has done some tangible good to aid Ukraine in defending itself against Russian invasion. Soon after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, Musk gave Ukraine access to SpaceX’s satellite-internet system Starlink, a system of "some 2,000 satellites designed to bring web access to underserved areas of the world," according to Bloomberg.
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