Elon Musk and Lindsey Graham Get Into a Twitter Scuffle Over the Russo-Ukrainian Conflict

Earlier this week, Tesla founder and PayPal co-founder Elon Musk put forward an otherwise reasonable proposal to end the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.

It consisted of the following: 

– Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people.


– Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).


– Water supply to Crimea assured.


– Ukraine remains neutral.


BLP reported on how Musk’s modest proposal was met with firm pushback from the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany Andri Melnyk. In short, Melnyk told Musk to “f*** off” for suggesting the supposedly radical idea of promoting peace during the Russo-Ukrainian conflict.

Melynk wasn’t the only public official with choice words for Musk. South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham criticized Musk in a tweet thread that he posted on October 5, 2022. 

Graham stated, “With all due respect to Elon Musk – and I do respect him – I would suggest he needs to understand the facts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Musk promptly responded with the following tweet:

Assuming you believe that the will of the people matters, we should, in any given conflict region, support the will of those who live there. 

Most of Ukraine unequivocally wants to be part of Ukraine, but some eastern portions have Russian majorities and prefer Russia.

Indeed, the Russo-Ukrainian conflict has an ethnic component to it. There are many residents of Ukraine of either Russian extraction or Russian-speakers that don’t identify with the Ukrainian national state, which has promoted controversial policies of Ukrainization. As a result, many of these Russians and Russian-speakers are more likely to sympathize with the Russian Federation.

We also shouldn’t forget the geopolitical component of this conflict. The US and several of the supranational structures it controls such as NATO have played an instrumental role in encroaching on Ukraine — an area Russia treats with great strategic importance. For Russia, such geopolitical maneuvers constitute an intolerable threat. Under normal circumstances, Russia would like to have Ukraine in its sphere of influence or at least neutral. 

Such nuanced perspectives on geopolitics are lost in today’s political scene, which is totally dominated by universalist foreign policy factions. 

There are many reasons to be skeptical of Elon Musk, but one thing is certain: His mind hasn’t been fully fried by neoconservative/neoliberal drivel. 

That alone, makes him a much saner voice on foreign affairs than the average foreign policy commentator. 

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