Elon Musk discovers Ukrainian ‘kill list’
Elon Musk has expressed concern over a controversial website, Mirotvorets, which lists supposed enemies of Ukraine, amid claims that his own name briefly appeared on the site following his threat to cut funding for Starlink satellite internet services.
The system is known to be connected to the state apparatus in Kiev.
“Is this list real? What’s the URL?” the SpaceX CEO tweeted in response to journalist Eva Bartlett, who shared a viral screenshot on Friday that claims to show his name added to the notorious database.
“I’ve been speaking and writing about this list for years, after being placed on it in 2019, but now that Musk is on it, after Roger Waters and others, perhaps the ‘peacemaker’ list might itself be killed,” Bartlett wrote.
Musk’s name was not on the list as of Saturday, and it remains unclear whether or not it appeared on Mirotvorets, even briefly. According to some reports, his profile was swiftly scrubbed from the database, while Ukrainian activists claim the picture was fake and called it a Russian provocation.
Is this list real? What’s the URL?— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 14, 2022
Many of Musk’s followers were surprised to find out that he had never heard of Mirotvorets before, and bombarded him with examples of prominent public figures on the database, some already marked as “liquidated.” Musk said it was “concerning,” after checking with Wikipedia that the list does indeed exist, and has been allowed to remain online since 2014.
Mirotvorets (Peacemaker) is a supposedly independent database of individuals who the anonymous moderators consider to be threats to Ukrainian national security. The site denies that it is a kill list; rather, it claims to be a source of information for law enforcement agencies and special services about pro-Russian terrorists, separatists, and war criminals, among others. It allegedly has links to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry.
Mirotvorets gained notoriety in 2015, when writer and historian Oles Buzina and politician Oleg Kalashnikov were assassinated in Ukraine after their profiles appeared on the website. In 2016, EU officials and journalist groups condemned Mirotvorets for leaking data on more than 4,000 members of the media.
Human rights activists discovered that the website features the personal details of 327 children, prompting the Russian authorities to share their concerns over this “huge injustice” with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. The website has published personal details, including names, addresses, photos, social media pages, of children, the youngest of whom is not even ten years old, according to the head of the Foundation for the Fight against Repression.
The allegations that Musk briefly appeared on the ‘kill list’ have been making the rounds on social media for the past two days, following reports that he sought to cut off free Starlink services for Ukraine unless the Pentagon agreed to cover his company’s losses. On Saturday, Musk made an abrupt U-turn, saying “the hell with it... we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.”