Elon Musk and Ukraine: on whose side does the businessman play in the Russian-Ukrainian war
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The influence of Elon Musk on the course of events in the Russian-Ukrainian war is difficult to overestimate. What are the Starlink systems provided by the entrepreneur, thanks to which Ukrainians gained access to satellite Internet, worth. However, in light of recent events, some experts doubt Musk's loyalty to Ukraine. So which side is the American businessman on?
In the early days of the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine, communication problems arose in many parts of the country. Counting on a quick and effective solution to the problem, the Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, Mikhail Fedorov, publicly addressed Elon Musk on Twitter with a request to provide Ukraine with Starlink systems.
Elon Musk wrote about the fact that the first Starlink terminals appeared in Ukraine February 27 on his Twitter page. Thanks to such efficiency, Ukrainians were able to appreciate the advantages of satellite Internet already in the first months of the war.
“In fact,Starlink is an opportunity to access satellite Internet in any conditions, even if there is no mobile connection. This is access to the Internet even in a field or in the middle of a forest, the ability to receive high-quality and fast Internet connection,” Mikhail Fedorov explained in an interview with 1 + 1.
According to the minister, Starlink satellite Internet helps not only Ukrainian soldiers, but also residents of the occupied cities, where the Russian “authorities” have limited access to the Internet. In addition, in the territories that have been under occupation, mobile communication towers are often damaged. In such cases, towers can also receive internet using Starlink.
And the presence of Starlink systems in Ukraine partially solves the problem of the shortage of walkie-talkies for Ukrainian military personnel. So, the head of the Dobrovoz charitable foundation, Dmitry Yurinov, said that thanks to Starlink, his organization can save time and money on the purchase of radios. Yurinov noted that he did not know whether the volunteers would be able to provide the fighters with means of communication in the absence of satellite communications.
Elon Musk is a national hero and an enemy of Rogozin
Supplies of satellite communication systems to Ukraine are not the only Elon Musk's act, which raised his authority in the eyes of Ukrainians. Almost since the early days of the war, the business mogul has been regularly voicing support for Ukraine on his Twitter page.
- Stay strong Ukraine, Musk tweeted in the first weeks of a full-scale Russian invasion.
< li>“I challenge Vladimir Putin to a duel, Ukraine is at stake,” the businessman told his subscribers.
In early March, Elon Musk personally spoke with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky via video link. The Ukrainian leader thanked the founder of Tesla and SpaceX for their assistance, and also discussed with him possible cooperation in the space sector.
Elon Musk's unprecedented support for Ukraine provoked a strong reaction among Russian propagandists. For example, the former head of Roskosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, devoted several posts to Elon Musk in his Telegram channel, and in particular, he warned the billionaire that he would have to “respond like an adult” for providing Starlink systems to the Azov regiment.
< p>In response to Rogozin's threats, Elon Musk wrote that he misunderstood the meaning of the word “Nazi”, and also spoke ironically about his own death.
“If I die under mysterious circumstances, it was nice to have with you business,” Musk wrote.
“Disappointment of the Year” What do Elon Musk's scandalous tweets say?
In addition to words of support, Elon Musk decided to offer Ukraine his vision of ending the war, stating the need to hold “referendums” in the occupied territories and published a corresponding survey among his subscribers.
In addition, Musk repeated Vladimir Putin's thesis that the Crimean peninsula was annexed to Ukraine as a “gift from Khrushchev”.
The thoughts of the American entrepreneur on the topic of geopolitics provoked an active reaction among users of social networks, and were also criticized by experts.
For example, investment banker Sergey Fursa suggested that Elon Musk's personal pragmatic goals were hidden behind the publication of the mentioned tweets.< /p>
“This tweet is not for Ukrainians. And this tweet did not lead to a drop in the value of shares. After all, the world is not Ukrainian-centric. But the fall in the value of shares led to this topic. To this tweet,” Serhiy Fursa writes.< /p>
Volodymyr Zelensky also reacted to the scandalous publications of Elon Musk, as reported by the BBC. The Ukrainian president launched his own poll on Twitter, in which social network users can express their attitude towards Elon Musk's position.
According to analyst Sergei Zhdanov, Elon Musk's tweets about referendums and Crimea indicate that the American businessman is interested in the soonest stabilization of the situation at the front, and not necessarily in favor of Ukraine.
“From the side of Ukrainian-Russian relations, such a position is read as exclusively pro-Russian. And in American discourse, it primarily defends the interests of transnational corporations: they don’t care how the war in Ukraine ends, as long as it ends as soon as possible,” Zhdanov writes in his column on the portal “Fence”.
Is Musk a Trump supporter? The political views of the founder of SpaceX
Elon Musk often speaks on Twitter on political topics, while the entrepreneur is in no hurry to publicly identify himself as a supporter of a particular political force.
Vladimir Dubovik, Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations at Odessa National University, believes that now Elon Musk is gradually moving to the side of Trump. The expert suggests that the businessman fell under the influence of Russian propaganda.
In turn, Sergei Zhdanov calls Elon Musk a representative of the techno-oligarchy. According to the analyst, over the past decade, the heads of tech corporations have gained global influence comparable to US political parties.
“Tech billionaires are neither democrats nor conservatives. They are more anarcho-capitalists or libertarians: they consider the federal government to be inefficient and outdated, bureaucrats to be slow and stupid, and the state itself to be the largest corporation with a monopoly on violence and poor resource management skills,” writes Zhdanov.
Elon Musk himself often changes his political preferences depending on the situation. In 2018, for example, the entrepreneur defined himself as “the utopian anarchist best described by Ian Banks,” referring to Banks' series of utopian writings about the so-called Culture, which describe a space civilization with an anarcho-communist society.
In order to more clearly outline his views, Musk even published a graph in which he showed his attitude towards American political forces in different years. The picture shows how, as “extremism” on the part of the Democrats increases, the businessman gradually leans towards the Republicans.
Among the claims against the current Democratic Party, Elon Musk singled out the restriction of freedom of speech, in particular, he did not support the blocking of Donald Trump on Twitter. The tycoon has already begun to solve this problem: Elon Musk bought Twitter and is now going to reform it.
Should Ukrainians count on further support from Musk
Despite the fact that the recent publications of Elon Musk on Twitter made many doubt his loyalty to Ukraine, the entrepreneur himself said that he was still ready to support the Ukrainians.
As a confirmation of his words, Elon Musk again declared his readiness to fund Starlink's work in Ukraine.
“To hell with it…Starlink is losing money and other companies are getting billions of taxpayer dollars. We'll just continue to fund the government of Ukraine for free,” Musk said.
At the same time, the entrepreneur still sees the danger in the further escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian war, which he also announced on Twitter.
According to Sergey Zhdanov, over the next two years, Elon Musk will try to maneuver between American political forces, because, thanks to the support of Ukraine, the entrepreneur has declared himself as an independent political figure.
“I would not be surprised if Musk continues to help democracies and at the same time publish subversive ideas on Twitter that compete in terms of absurdity with Trump's,” the expert concluded.