The chief executive of Tesla, Twitter and SpaceX weighed in on the Ukraine crisis on Wednesday after controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson shared a Newsweek story carrying a Russian journalist’s remarks critical of the US.
Russian journalist Igor Korotchenko claimed on state TV that the US had declared war against his country, said the Newsweek article.
The journalist slammed the White House for its support for Ukrainian strikes in the peninsula that was annexed by Russia in 2014.
The report also carried Ms Nuland’s comments on Crimea that said the US wanted the peninsula to be demilitarised and that it supported Ukrainian attacks on military targets there.
“No matter what the Ukrainians decide about Crimea in terms of where they choose to fight etcetera, Ukraine is not going to be safe unless Crimea is at a minimum, at a minimum, demilitarised,” Ms Nuland had told the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.
“Nobody is pushing this war more than Nuland,” the outspoken Twitter chief said in his reply to Jordan Peterson.
The comments were criticised on Mr Musk’s own platform, including by some Russian users.
“Putin, for example. No?” said Russian politician and lawyer Ivan Zhdanov.
Leonid Volkov, chief of staff to Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, also waded into the fray. “Nobody is pushing this war but Putin,” he said.
Former Canadian diplomat and minister Chris Alexander called Mr Musk’s comments disinformation “marching orders arriving from Moscow” and called him “a truly pathetic shill”.
Louise Daphne Mensch, a British blogger and novelist, lashed out at Mr Musk “for letting fools embarrass you”.
“This morning you tweeted about how a totally FAKE ‘news article’ screenshot, no link, by one of your cronies, about the US and the WHO was ‘concerning’. Why do you let these people make an idiot out of you?” she said.
Earlier this month, Mr Musk was called out for restricting the availability of his Starlink satellite high-speed broadband service to Ukraine.
He said “we are not allowing Starlink to be used for long-range drone strikes” and later said “Starlink is meant for peaceful use only”.
After Mr Putin’s forces relentlessly targeted Ukraine’s telecommunications infrastructure with missile strikes, Kyiv started using SpaceX’s technology as a source of uninterrupted, independent and secure internet access, enabling lines of communication to remain open with its troops on the frontline of the conflict in the south and east.
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