Elon Musk proposes Ukraine peace plan
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has proposed a plan to end the conflict in Ukraine. The billionaire suggested that new elections be held in the four regions that recently voted to join Russia, while Ukraine would commit to neutrality and relinquish its claim to Crimea.
Musk posted an outline of his plan on Twitter on Monday, suggesting that Russia “redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision,” with Moscow withdrawing from these areas if voters choose.
Crimea would be declared “formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783,” until Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gifted the peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.
Musk, whose text messages revealed him to be an occasional reader of RT, called Khrushchev’s decision a “mistake.”
The billionaire then suggested that Ukraine commit to neutrality – as Russia had requested long before it launched its military operation in February – and guarantee the supply of water to Crimea. Ukraine shut down the supply in 2014 after Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to rejoin the Russian Federation. Shortly after the launch of Russia’s operation in Ukraine, the supply was restored.
“This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end,” Musk commented on his suggestion, adding that it is “just a question of how many people die before then.”
The plan is unlikely to find fans in Kiev. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has vowed not to negotiate with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and to seize the entirety of the territory Kiev claims as its own – including the Donbass republics and Crimea – by force. Furthermore, Zelensky sent an application for membership to the NATO alliance last week.
Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, and Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, would likely vote in overwhelming numbers to join Russia if the recent referendums in these territories were held again. All of these regions have a high percentage of Russian speakers and have historically voted for pro-Russian candidates while part of Ukraine.
However, Putin has already signed treaties to accede these territories into the Russian Federation, and has vowed to defend them with Russia’s full military capabilities.
At the time of writing, nearly 60% of respondents on Twitter backed Musk’s idea. That ratio is likely to change, however, as pro-Ukrainian Twitter users in the comments have called on ‘#NAFO’ trolls to swing the poll in their favor. In a follow-up post, Musk said that “the bot attack on this poll is strong!”