Elon Musk has doubled down on his comments surrounding the war in Ukraine, after facing criticism from US senator Lindsey Graham.
It comes after Musk suggested on Twitter that he has a solution to deliver a truce between the countries. The Tesla CEO posted a poll suggesting that the sham referendums of annexed regions must be performed again under the supervision of the United Nations - with Russian aggressors leaving if it is the 'will of the people'.
He also suggested that Crimea should become a formal part of Russia (which was annotated with a disclaimer that it 'has been since 1783'), and that water supply to the region should be assured, before suggesting that Ukraine would remain neutral in the aftermath.
Musk's proposal was met with a 'F**k off' comment from the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk. President Volodymyr Zelensky weighed in to ask his Twitter followers which 'Musk' his followers preferred - the one who supports Ukraine, or the one who supports Russia.
Musk's comments have been criticised by Ukrainian officialsGetty
Musk did however gain support from the Kremlin.
Dmitry Medvedev, who is the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, commented on Musk’s proposals on Telegram.
He wrote: "Good job, Musk. Worthy of being promoted to an honorary officer rank. It’s true to say that Eustace has cracked the code early on. His next post will be something along the lines of ‘Ukraine is an artificial state’."
‘Eustace’ is a reference to the main character from a 1970s film on Soviet TV.
However, Senator Graham emerged as one of the most critical figures against Musk’s proposals and blasted Musk’s comments – calling them “dumb” on Twitter.
“With all due respect to Elon Musk – and I do respect him – I would suggest he needs to understand the facts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he said on Twitter.
“Suggesting we end the Russian invasion by simply giving Russia parts of Ukraine – after all the suffering – is dumb. It is also an affront to the bravery of the Ukrainians fighting to defend their homeland,” he added.
The senator also said that the signing of the Budapest Memorandum in 1994 had led to Ukraine giving up its nuclear weapons arsenal in exchange for protection of its territorial integrity. He added the agreement was signed by Russia and included protecting Crimea and the Donbas “as part of Ukraine”.
Musk responded to the senator and said “some eastern portions” preferred Russia and that the “will of the people matters”.
\u201c@LindseyGrahamSC Assuming you believe that the will of the people matters, we should, in any given conflict region, support the will of those who live there. \n\nMost of Ukraine unequivocally wants to be part of Ukraine, but some eastern portions have Russian majorities and prefer Russia.\u201d