Tesla CEO Elon Musk is being criticized for weighing in on Russia's invasion of Ukraine with his proposed "peace plan," which critics allege is cribbed straight from Vladimir Putin's talking points.
On Monday, Musk posted a proposed deal on Twitter that would end the war if Ukraine gave up its claim to the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia had originally annexed in 2014.
This earned a profane reaction from at least one Ukrainian government official.
"The only outcome is that now no Ukrainian will EVER buy your f...ing tesla crap. So good luck to you @elonmusk," said Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk. "F*ck off is my very diplomatic reply to you..."
Olga Lautman serves as an analyst and researcher for Kremlin intelligence and eastern Europe at the Center for European Policy Analysis -- and as an expert in Kremlin propaganda, she noted that Musk was repeating it exactly.
"Why is he whitewashing Russia’s illegal invasion/genocide campaign?" she also asked. "Absurd how everyone is an instant Russia ‘expert’ these days with some pushing Ukraine to cede territory."
National security lawyer Bradley Moss couldn't help but notice that Musk's comments are similar to those purporting to be "anti-establishment 'free thinkers'" and they all appear to "have the same solution to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine? Surrender, Ukraine. Appease Putin. Surrender, Ukraine. Putin must be coddled. Surrender, Ukraine."
Alina Mykhaylova, the deputy of the Kyiv City Council, took issue with Musk for claiming only bots were disagreeing with him.
"I’m a deputy of Kyiv city Council and an officer. I’m verified by twitter, as yourself, and I testify that those words of yours are absurd and speaks of your narrow-mindedness, dullness and some serious gaps in history," she said. "But for now it looks like you’re full of Russian sh*t."
Alexey Navalny's chief of staff, Leonid Volkov couldn't help but wonder how Musk would respond to "solutions for Israel/Palestine and Gondor/Mordor" with a single tweet.
Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko joked that Russia should take back Alaska next.
"It used to be Russian and Putin loves to 'gather Russian lands,'" he said. "So obviously the US should oblige and give it back before Russia declares war on them. It's so easy for some to manage the lives and lands of Ukrainians."
The official account for the Parliament of Ukraine said simply "no," when responding to Musk.
The Kyiv Post joined the criticism too, saying that Musk is "a cool guy" and they're grateful for Starlink, but "it’d be so very wonderful if you were to carry out votes on things that you know about. We don’t carry out votes on apartheid and Nelson Mandela."
Serhiy Prytula, a former actor and television presenter, also pointed out Musk's confusion about the region's history.
"Elon, man. Seems like you have missed a lot history lessons while concentrating on space and e-cars. Your proposals sound much like Putin’s. Hope you did not mean it that way," he said.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) similarly urged Musk to read a little more before trying to weigh in on foreign policy.
"This idea reminds me of fourth grade social studies where we came up with a peace plan between USSR and USA," said the Congressman. "We thought that if Gorbachev and Reagan were forced to eat one dinner of American food and 1 of Russian, they would become friends. For reals."
Paul Massaro, who serves as is a senior policy advisor for the U.S. Helsinki Commission focusing on counter-corruption and sanctions, had another contrasting prediction to Musk's about how Ukraine-Russia peace will be established.
"Ukraine liberates all its sovereign territory," he listed. "Russia decolonizes, demilitarizes, and denuclearizes."
Atlantic columnist Tom Nichols, who previously taught at the U.S. Naval College, explained to Musk that up until Feb. 24, Putin had many chances to negotiate with the global community standing with Ukraine. His only option now is to walk away in defeat.
Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya mocked Musk by saying that the next time he needed a plumber he'd call Musk.
"He doesn’t do plumbing?! Then what the heck’s the matter, why does he speak of international relations and international law? Btw a good plumber is better than Musk’s secondhand opinions on illegally occupied territories of a foreign nation," he burned.