Musk calls out ‘crazy and cruel’ take on Russia
Wishing death on Russians was inappropriate of Senator Lindsey Graham, Elon Musk has said in a Twitter conversation, which began with a columnist posting wholesome videos of Russian youths celebrating the end of the school year.
“This is Russia a day after the failed mutiny,” Ian Miles Cheong posted on Monday, with a 25-second video of dressed-up graduates singing ‘I am Russian,’ last summer’s hit song by the pop star Shaman.
“Lindsey Graham thinks the best money we ever spent was killing as many of these people as possible,” entrepreneur and podcast host David Sacks replied to Cheong.
“That was a crazy and cruel thing for him to say,” Musk chimed in. “If those kids wanted to be at the front lines, they wouldn’t need to be conscripted.”
Sacks was referring to comments Graham made in Kiev at the end of May, when he said “The Russians are dying,” and “It’s the best money we ever spent.”
President Vladimir Zelensky’s office edited those two together in a video they released for PR purposes. Graham, a South Carolina Republican and long-time supporter of Ukrainian nationalism, responded by protesting that he was quoted out of context by “Russian propaganda.” The money part, he insisted, referred to the US investing over $100 billion in aid to “liberate Ukraine.”
Cheong was contrasting the look and sound of Russian youths to those in the West, as well as making the point that the Wagner mutiny did not seem to rattle or weaken Russia, as many Western talking heads have claimed. Later on Monday, he shared another video, showing the “Red Sails” graduation event in St. Petersburg that culminated in another Shaman performance and a fireworks show.
Musk’s conscription comments were curious as well. Russia has not resorted to mass conscription to fill the ranks of its military, turning instead to contract enlistments and a call-up of some 300,000 experienced reservists last fall. Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said last week that enough people were enlisting voluntarily to raise a new regiment every day.
Meanwhile, authorities in several regions of Ukraine have begun issuing mass mobilization announcements, giving a ten-day deadline for all men to report for service without waiting for personal notice.