Elon Musk Wants To Challenge Vladimir Putin To ‘Single Combat’ Over Ukraine - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Elon Musk Wants To Challenge Vladimir Putin To ‘Single Combat’ Over Ukraine

Taking to Twitter to make his proposition known, Musk tagged the Kremlin’s official account as he asked, “Do you agree to this fight?”

The world has watched with grave concern as Russian forces have invaded Ukraine. In some ways, it’s hard to fathom that the war has now entered its 25th day with no signs of peace in sight. Instead, social media feeds and news coming out from Ukraine show empty streets, with buildings destroyed and houses decimated. Of those who have remained fighting for Ukraine and democracy at large, theirs is a reality of indiscriminate artillery shelling from Russian forces.

Already, more than 3.3 million refugees have fled Ukraine with nearly 6.5 million thought to be internally displaced, according to the UNHCR. With a potentially fatal lack of food, water and medicines available across besieged cities in eastern Ukraine, the UN has warned that humanitarian needs are becoming increasingly more urgent. 

As the war continues, more and more people are looking to do what they can to show their support of Ukraine. In terms of diplomacy, restrictions have been placed on Russian trading and companies, while organisations are being quick to voice their support for Ukrainians. For Elon Musk though, he’s going straight to the source, challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin to “single combat” on Twitter – with the “stakes” being Ukraine. 

The billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX made the bizarre Tweet on March 14, writing: “I hereby challenge [Vladimir Putin] to single combats” using the Russian alphabet to write Putin’s name. He then wrote in Ukrainian that the stakes of the fight would be Ukraine. In a follow up Tweet, he tagged the Kremlin’s official Twitter account and asked in Russian, “Do you agree to this fight?” 

Not surprisingly, Putin has yet to respond to Musk’s strange invitation. While some have rolled their eyes at Musk, in subsequent Tweets he ensured followers 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.”

Putin might not have responded, but 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.” As Forbes suggests, a translation of 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.”

While it’s unclear why Musk feels the need (or right) to stake an entire country in a “single combat” fight against an oligarch, the man has done tangible good to aid Ukraine in defending itself against Russian invasion. Shortly after Russia invaded on February 24, he 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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