Russian officials have praised Elon Musk’s peace plan for Ukraine, claiming “many ideas” raised by the Tesla CEO “deserve attention.”
On Monday, Musk tweeted a four-point plan to end the war, which would see Crimea ceded by Ukraine to Russia, fresh sovereignty referendums in four Ukrainian provinces partially occupied by Moscow and Ukraine agreeing to “remain neutral.”
Musk tweeted his proposal as a poll on Monday, asking his followers to vote “yes” or “no” in response.
Musk’s tweet read: “Ukraine-Russia Peace:
“Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is [the] will of the people.”
– Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people.
– Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).
– Water supply to Crimea assured.
– Ukraine remains neutral.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 3, 2022
“Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake),” Musk wrote.
“Water supply to Crimea assured.
“Ukraine remains neutral.”
As of 7:30 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the poll had received over 2.5 million votes, with 60 percent voting “no” and 40 percent “yes.”
Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, welcomed the proposals and said Musk is “still trying to look for ways to achieve peace.”
Speaking to the state-controlled RIA Novosti news agency about the plan, Peskov said: “Many ideas deserve attention there.
“As for holding referendums, residents have already expressed their opinion. And there can be nothing else here…But, I repeat once again, the fact itself is very positive.”
However, Elon’s prompted a furious response from Ukrainian officials.
Andrij Melnyk, Ukraine’s outgoing ambassador to Germany, tweeted: “F**k off is my very diplomatic reply to you.”
Former Ukrainian diplomat Olexander Scherba added: “It’s not just about territory, Elon! It’s about people! It’s about genocide of Ukrainian language, culture! What is peace for you is a destroyed, cripple life for them.
“It’s about allowing a new Hitler to have his way! Can’t believe you wrote that!”
Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s U.S. ambassador, tweeted that she would like to sit down with Musk to discuss his views.
“Even the best of us can fall victims to misinformation. Elon Musk, how about I give you an exclusive briefing on true history of Crimea and Ukraine? We can discuss how Ukraine and Crimean Tatars fought together against the Russians long before 1783 and why we like Starlinks today.”
On Friday, Putin signed “accession treaties” annexing the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, none of which are fully controlled by Russian troops, into the Russian Federation.
This action followed referendums in the four provinces which U.S. Secretary Antony Blinken condemned as a “sham.”
In a statement shared with Newsweek, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry branded the referendums a “propaganda show.”
“Forcing people in these territories to fill out some papers at the barrel of a gun is yet another Russian crime in the course of its aggression against Ukraine,” the statement said. “Such actions severely violate the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, as well as norms of international law and Russia’s international obligations.”
Following the annexation, the U.S., E.U. and U.K. imposed fresh sanctions on Russia.
Russian forces have been pushed back over the past week, losing the eastern town of Lyman over the weekend.
On Monday the Ukrainian military claimed it had destroyed 44 Russian tanks in a single day, though this has not been independently verified.
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