James O'Brien reacts to Elon Musk challenging Vladimir Putin
LBC

Elon Musk thinks he’s worked out how to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine – by challenging Vladimir Putin to "single combat".

The Tesla billionaire baffled the internet this week after offering to take on the Russian leader in a bid to end the conflict.

It comes after he previously joked about sending “space dragons with lasers” to Ukraine to help the country defend itself, while he actually made a difference by providing the country with internet via SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.

While he was thanked by Ukraine for the gesture, his latest proposal seems slightly less helpful by comparison.

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He made the bizarre proposition in a tweet, writing: “I hereby challenge Владимир Путин [Vladimir Putin] to single combat.

“Stakes are Україна [Ukraine].”

In another post, he tagged the official account for the Kremlin, asking in Russian: “Do you agree to this fight?”

It’s all a bit silly, but it has got us thinking – who would actually win in a fight between the unlikely opponents?

One person who does know a thing or two about these things is Ukrainian boxer-turned-Mayor of Kyiv Vitaliy Klitschko, who seemed to like the idea.

He responded to Musk's tweet with flexed biceps emojis, and other social media users have a few things to say about it too.

Many pointed out that Putin has a black belt in judo (or at least he did until the World Taekwondo governing body announced last month that it was withdrawing the honorary belt). He is also a former member of the KGB, with his background standing him in good stead over Musk – and he can clearly handle himself.

Who would win in a fight between Elon Musk and Vladimir Putin? Getty

On the other hand, Musk previously revealed that he trained a little in karate, taekwondo, judo and jiu-jitsu when he was younger in an interview with Joe Rogan.

As one social media user pointed out, Musk’s height advantage could make him the favourite. Musk stands at 184cm and Putin at 169cm, and there’s also a 19-year age difference between them.

Plenty of people have joined in the debate online (including Jake Paul, who is keen to see the fight happen) and opinion is split. Here are a selection of the verdicts, as well as some of the funniest reactions.









It is, of course, a lot of hot air. While we’d actually quite like to see a Rock IV-style montage of them preparing to take each other on, it’s merely the stuff of social media posturing.

But still, the verdict on a hypothetical fight between them is up in the air.

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered. To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here. To sign the petition click here. If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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