Mask scandalous statements about Ukraine. What is left behind the scenes?

When Elon Musk published his own (or is it his?) proposals for “peace” between Ukraine and Russia at the beginning of October, many asked the question: “What is all this?” And when it became known that SpaceX wanted to abandon the funding of the Starlink satellite Internet in Ukraine, ideas could not help but show that this is part of a complex Russian plan.

Fortunately, no one has stopped funding Starlink in Ukraine, and only memes and responses from Oksana Zabuzhko or Andrii Melnyk remind us of Musk’s “peace plan.” Let’s not guess what prompted Musk to write scandalous tweets. this text An attempt to look at what this scandal revealed and what remained behind the scenes.

“Peace plan” with Russian notes

So, it all began on October 3, when Elon Musk, apparently without any reason, published proposals for “Ukrainian-Russian peace” – “holding second elections” in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, and the recognition of Crimea as Russian . Ensure the supply of water there from the Ukrainian side, as well as “to maintain the neutrality of Kyiv.” Later, a clause was added on the “expression of the will” of the population of Crimea and Donbass under the auspices of the United Nations (whatever that means).

At least, the factual error of all these statements has already been said more than once, so let’s not repeat ourselves.

But soon the famous American political scientist Ian Bremer said that Musk personally told him about a phone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin before the publication of his “peace plan” for Ukraine. The two sides exchanged with the Kremlin mutual objections. (By the way, anonymous Russian Telegram channels indicated that Musk was actually speaking to “Putin’s weakness”).

It is quite clear why the “peace plan” of the founder of SpaceX caused such indignation among Ukrainians. How can someone give Starlink to the Ukrainian army and provide communications on the front line and in the towns and villages that have been taken out of the occupation, and at the same time actually call for the surrender of Ukraine?

We will return to the topic of Starlink, but for now we will remember that Elon Musk previously spoke about Ukraine.

“We cannot allow Putin to take over Ukraine. This is crazy… If this can get away with it, it will be a signal to other countries that they can also get away with it,” he added. – He said at the end of March – even before the Russian troops made a “goodwill gesture” in northern Ukraine, and the world got to know Bosha.

Well, that’s all, actually.

What’s interesting: Thoughts on a “peace plan” for Ukraine, according to sensational CNN material, Musk was at least in September: he seemed to say that Moscow would be willing to accept the terms of such a “peace” if Kyiv were to agree to negotiations.

“Now is the time to do it (go to negotiations with the Russian Federation – ed.). They certainly don’t want it. But now is the time. Everyone wants peace when they lose, but they don’t want peace even when they win. So far”, – The interviewer in the closed event quotes Musk’s words.

And all this coincided with the counterattack of the Ukrainian forces in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions, the emergency organization of puppet “referendums” and the loud clamor of nuclear weapons. Incidentally, Musk spoke categorically about the fear of World War III and nuclear conflict in the context of his “peace plan”.

‘Absolute freedom of expression’

And if a sudden change in Musk’s position on Ukraine (which he “still supports a lot”) seems difficult to explain without a conspiracy theory, the fact that an article with pro-Russian theses was publicly published is not. secretive.

Elon Musk is a longtime champion (at least in words) of freedom of expression in its sheer proportions. In his understanding, this means the absence of any censorship in principle – they say, people will decide for themselves what is true and what is not.

Let’s recall at least Musk’s public struggle with Twitter, which sometimes he wanted to buy, and sometimes he didn’t because of sending bots and apparently ambiguous moderation, and after publishing his “peace plan” he wanted it again.

The “tyranny” of free speech in Musk’s understanding also applies to a large-scale Russian-Ukrainian war. At the beginning of March, he said behold, that some foreign governments asked him to ban Russian media from Starlink, but he refused. And relatively recently, he gave a measure of joy to publicity, declaring that he was reading their media.

But here the founder of SpaceX also leaves enough room for compromises.

An example is China, on which Musk’s work has relied in the past few years. He himself recently admitted that Beijing expressed concern about the way he opened access to Starlink Internet to Ukraine, and warned of similar actions in the People’s Republic of China. After all, a free internet connection would not only allow the Chinese to bypass strict state censorship, but also help Taiwan in the event of another escalation there.

Elon Musk presents SpaceX, May 29, 2014


AP Photo / Jae C. Hong

Starlink, but not for everyone

And let’s finally return to Starlink in Ukraine. Funding the network’s operation, which Musk complained to the Pentagon, resolved itself last weekend (and even if SpaceX refuses to do so, international partners have already volunteered).

Musk’s February 26 decision to allow Starlink in Ukraine to do its work is, without a doubt, worthy of respect and gratitude. But what could be behind it?

In fact, the American businessman is not the first to provide emergency assistance. A few weeks before the massive Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Starlink party went to the island of Tonga, where contact was completely cut off due to a volcanic eruption. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Tesla promised to provide its ventilators to hospitals (it turns out not, but a gesture that is still appreciated). And in 2018, the founder of SpaceX announced the construction of a submarine to rescue a group of Thai schoolchildren stuck in a cave with a soccer coach – they were eventually rescued without Musk’s help.

Who is not so lucky – it is Belarus. In August 2020, Twitter users actively called for Musk to open access to the satellite Internet against the background of large-scale anti-government protests, during which the Lukashenko regime jammed communications. The founder of SpaceX drew attention to the situation in Belarus, but Starlink, as you know, was never operated for Belarusians.

* * *

It would be an exaggeration to call Elon Musk a “Kremlin agent” or a “helpful idiot” because he propagated pro-Russian theses for whatever reason.

The founder of SpaceX has never been so supportive of Ukraine, and the fact that he started helping us with Starlink is a wonderful and happy gift of fate. By all accounts, his views on a full-scale invasion of Russia change easily at least under the influence of external circumstances (whether it includes a “conversation with Putin” is left in parentheses).

Let’s not forget that Musk has been writing far from the most sensible things on Twitter — from plans to sell his Tesla stock to intentions to buy Coca-Cola and bring cocaine back into the drink formula.

The reactions of both the White House and our friends from the Baltic states will likely show whether his “peace plan” proposals are having an effect on Ukraine’s support in the West. And all of them, surprisingly, are positive for Kyiv.

Finally, we should also mention Musk’s disease – Asperger’s syndrome. Once the billionaire himself explained how the syndrome affects him, a psychological development disorder associated with difficulties in socialization and nonverbal communication: “I know I say or write weird things online from time to time, but that’s the way my brain works… Did you really think I’d be a simple guy?”

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