Ukrainian city cancels Elon Musk
The Ukrainian port city of Odessa has apparently decided that Elon Musk’s face no longer has a place on billboards picturing international celebrities who have supported Kiev amid its conflict with Moscow. The move comes after the Tesla CEO tweeted a Russia-Ukraine peace plan.
“The advertising department is removing the photo of Elon Musk from the billboards with which we expressed our gratitude to those who backed Ukraine,” Odessa’s administration wrote on Telegram.
It also published a video showing a worker gluing a large piece of blue paper over the billionaire’s face.
Some media outlets claimed the move would not only see Musk’s image removed, but whole billboards that also feature the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Emilia Clarke and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Musk had a falling out with Ukrainian officials and social media users in early October after he proposed a peace plan to settle the conflict between Kiev and Moscow. According to him, Russia should “redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision,” while Ukraine would commit to neutrality and drop its claim to Crimea.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky reacted to the idea by launching a poll on Twitter, asking followers “which Elon Musk” they “like more” – the one “who supports Ukraine” or the one “who supports Russia.” Kiev’s outgoing ambassador to Germany Andrey Melnik went much further, telling the US billionaire to “f**k off.”
A few days after that, the Ukrainian military reportedly began experiencing problems with its Starlink communications system. Musk’s SpaceX company had donated $80 million worth of Starlink terminals to Kiev at the beginning of the conflict, with Kiev’s troops relying heavily on the system for communications.
The news prompted speculation that it could have been the tech entrepreneur’s revenge for the rejection of his peace proposal. But Musk dismissed those rumors as “bad reporting.”