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Elon Musk’s ‘peace plan’ for Ukraine causes furore

The Kremlin has thanked Elon Musk after the billionaire caused controversy by putting forward his own peace plan to bring an end to the war in Ukraine, prompting a fallout with Ukrainian officials.

The ‘peace plan’ was also criticised by Chinese State-affiliated media, who said the world’s wealthiest man and Tesla CEO had “released his personality too much” and will therefore “be taught a lesson”.

It came as Mr Musk suggested that four regions of Ukraine illegally annexed by Russia should hold new elections under the supervision of the United Nations. He also proposed making Crimea, which was annexed from Ukraine in 2014, “formally part of Russia”, that water supply to Crimea be assured, and Ukraine remain neutral. 

Outlining his plan for ‘Ukraine-Russia Peace’, Musk suggested:

“- 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.”

He asked Twitter users to vote on his plan. 2,748,378 people voted on his proposals in his Twitter poll, which saw 59 per cent of respondents disagree, whilst 41 per cent voted ‘yes’ to back Musk. 

“This [his peace plan] is highly likely to be the outcome in the end,” he said, adding that it was “just a question of how many die before then”.

Musk, 51, also said it was worth noting that a “possible, albeit unlikely, outcome from this conflict is nuclear war”.

Moscow’s land grab, which covers almost a fifth of Ukraine, followed votes which were broadly dismissed as illegitimate by Kyiv along with Western governments. 

The Kremlin said Mr Musk’s ideas for a possible peace deal was a “positive” development on Tuesday, just hours after Kyiv criticised Musk for his controversial proposal. . 

Following up on the poll, Musk clarified that he still “very much” supports Ukraine, but is fearful of a “massive escalation of the war”. 

Ukrainian officials and Western allies meanwhile expressed anger at Musk’s input, accusing Musk of “moral idiocy” and saying he was guilty of repeating Russian propaganda. 

Ukrainian president Volodymir Zelensky created his own Twitter poll in response to Musk, asking users: “Which @elonmusk do you like more?” offering two voting options of: “one who supports Ukraine” or “one who supports Russia”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk responded to Musk’s poll with: “F— off is my very diplomatic reply to you”.

By sharp contrast, his proposals were welcomed by the Kremlin. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was ““very positive that somebody like Elon Musk is looking for a peaceful way out of this situation”.

Mr Peskov told journalists during a conference call that Moscow had always been open to negotiating to put an end to the war with Ukraine, commending Musk for “searching for ways to achieve peace”. 

“Compared to many professional diplomats, Musk is still searching for ways to achieve peace. And achieving peace without fulfilling Russia’s conditions is absolutely impossible,” he said.

Musk claimed he did not care about the popularity of his peace plan, but he did very much care “that millions of people may die needlessly for an essentially identical outcome”.

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