President Volodymyr Zelensky reacted to Elon Musk’s controversial Twitter post suggesting a "peace plan" for Russia’s war in Ukraine by creating a poll to vote on which Musk people liked better — the one supporting Ukraine or Russia.
The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla wrote back to Zelensky: "I still very much support Ukraine, but am convinced that massive escalation of the war will cause great harm to Ukraine and possibly the world."
The conversation started when, on Oct. 4, Musk posted a poll on Twitter proposing a several-point plan to end Russia’s war in Ukraine. He suggested that Crimea should be recognized as a part of Russia, Ukraine must stay neutral and Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, and Luhansk oblasts should hold a vote "under UN supervision" on whether they want to be a part of Russia or Ukraine.
This "plan" was seen as heavily pro-Russian and caused a storm of replies from Ukrainians and supporters of Ukraine.
Musk's response to Zelensky also reflected one of the most prominent Russian propaganda narratives aimed at the West: That by defending itself against Russia and fighting to liberate the invaded territories, Ukraine is escalating the war and bringing more deaths. The narrative, now backed by Musk, is de facto shifting the blame for the war from Russia to Ukraine.
On May 19, the New York Times published an editorial arguing that it was too dangerous to assume that Ukraine can win the war and saying that Ukraine should make a “painful compromise” and give up some territories to Russia. The U.S. must understand the futility of helping Ukraine and stop “taunting” Russia, the editorial said.