Elon Musk wants to take his support for Ukraine to the next level.
SpaceX has been sending terminals and other gear for its Starlink satellite-internet system to Ukraine, struggling to maintain communications capabilities since being invaded by Russia on February 24.
And on Monday, the company’s founder and CEO offered a simple way to bring that invasion to an end.
I hereby challenge
to single combat
Stakes are Україна
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 14, 2022
“I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat. Stakes are Ukraine,” Musk tweeted on Monday, spelling out Putin’s name and Ukraine in Russian. (Translation provided by Google.)
“Do you agree to this fight?” he asked (in Russian) in another tweet, which tagged @KremlinRussia_E, the official account of the Russian president.
Ты, бесенок, еще молоденек,
Со мною тягаться слабенек;
Это было б лишь времени трата.
Обгони-ка сперва моего брата.
А. С. Пушкин “Сказка о Попе и работнике его Балде” https://t.co/KuR328iH20
— РОГОЗИН (@Rogozin) March 14, 2022
That account has not responded, but one of Elon Musk’s recurring Twitter foils did chime in. Dmitry Rogozin, the chief of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, tweeted a passage from “The Tale of the Pope and his Worker Balda” by famed Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837).
“You, little devil, are still young/Compete with me weak/It would only be a waste of time/Overtake my brother first,” the passage reads (translated from Russian by Google).
“I see you are a tough negotiator! Ok, you can have 10% more pay per view money,” Musk replied in another Monday tweet, which featured a (presumably edited) image of a shirtless Putin riding a bear and a picture of Musk playing with a flamethrower.
“He can even bring his bear,” Musk said in yet another Monday tweet.
Musk is no stranger to such trolling and tweaking, and Elon Musk has sparred with Rogozin in this fashion before. For example, back in April 2014, when Rogozin was Russia’s deputy PM, he remarked that the U.S. should use a trampoline to get their astronauts to the ISS.