Elon Musk Challenges Vladimir Putin to ‘Single Combat’
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Elon Musk is, at least officially, the richest man in the world. But the tech genius thinks there’s one man on Earth with an even larger fortune: Vladimir Putin.

The Tesla CEO became the wealthiest person on the planet in 2021, but said in an interview that the Russian president is likely “significantly richer” than he is.

Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner asked him: “How do you feel, being — at a net worth of $260 billion roughly — perceived as the richest person on earth?"

The world's richest man responded: "I do think that Putin is significantly richer than me."

Döpfner pressed: “You really do?” to which Musk replied: “Yeah.”

It might be part of the reason why Musk challenged Putin to a fight, on Twitter, last week. As much as we hate to say it, judo black belt Putin would probably be the favorite to win.

According to Mr Putin’s official asset form, he earns $140,000 a year and has a modest apartment in Moscow.

But in 2017, Bill Browder, the chief executive officer of Hermitage Capital Management said that he thinks Mr Putin is worth $200bn.

Musk was then asked whether he ever worries about losing it all, and it turns out he’s been thinking about it a lot.

“There have been many times when I expected to lose everything," he said. “Who starts a car company and a rocket company expecting them to succeed? Certainly not me. I had less than 10 percent chance of success.”

He said that after SpaceX launches failed three times, a fourth failure would have doomed the company as he had no money for a fifth launch.

He turned to Tesla, too, talking about the terrible timing of trying to raise money for his electric car startup right at car giants General Motors and Chrysler had gone bankrupt. He said: “People were very angry that I even asked. But we were able to raise just enough money to squeak by.”

On the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Musk said the military action was a surprise in 2022 - and gave a warning to the world.

"It is surprising to see that in this day and age. I thought we had sort of moved beyond such things for the most part. It is concerning. If you can get away with it, then this will be a message to other countries that perhaps they could get away with it too."

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