Zelensky’s wife hopes Musk tweet about peace was ‘mistake’
Ukrainian First Lady Elena Zelenskaya hopes billionaire Tesla co-founder Elon Musk merely made a “chance mistake” when he tweeted a plan for peace between Kiev and Moscow last month, she told The Guardian in an interview published on Thursday.
She explained that Ukrainians “admired” the SpaceX CEO not only for assisting the country’s military with 25,000 free Starlink internet terminals, but for “support[ing] Ukraine from the very first day.” However, that made it “extremely sensitive for us to read the tweet” outlining Musk’s peace plan for the country.
The president’s wife, however, argued he might just be momentarily stupid or duped by propaganda, rather than malicious. “Let’s be honest, even the smartest person can’t say the smartest things 24 hours a day. There are mistakes. And we hope it was a chance mistake,” she said.
Musk’s peace plan would have required Ukraine to remain neutral, abandoning its NATO ambitions. It would have to relinquish all claims to Crimea, recognizing it as part of Russia, and both countries would have to honor the results of a UN-supervised do-over of the referendums that saw the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, join Russia earlier this year.
While the plan initially appeared to be met with general approval from the billionaire’s followers, it received some critical reactions as well. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky reacted with his own poll asking followers whether they preferred a Musk who “supported Ukraine” or one who “supported Russia.” In response, the billionaire claimed that while he was a “fan of Ukraine,” he did not feel the same about World War III.
Ukraine’s former ambassador to Germany, Andrey Melnik, who became well known for insulting German officials, told Musk to “f**k off” after the billionaire unveiled his peace plan. Musk subsequently countered that he was simply following Melnik’s advice when he decided to withdraw Starlink funding for the country.
“We have to thank [Musk] for Starlink because it’s still working,” Elena Zelenskaya acknowledged in the interview, adding that “it does still work and we hope that it gives us help towards victory by making our efforts smarter.”