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Ukrainian officials hit back at Elon Musk for mocking Volodymyr Zelensky

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Ukrainian officials reacted to a social media post by billionaire Elon Musk that made fun of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s repeated calls for Western military and financial aid to fight Russian forces.

Musk owns the social media platform X – formerly known as Twitter – where he posted a meme of Zelensky earlier Monday.

The caption read: “When it’s been five minutes and you haven’t asked for a billion dollars in aid”.

The Ukrainian leader and his top lieutenants have appealed to their allies throughout the war to secure billions of dollars of military aid to weather and push back Russia’s invasion.

The speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, hit back at Musk’s jibe with his own post on X.

“The case when …(Elon Musk) tried to conquer space, but something went wrong and in 5 minutes he was up to his eyeballs in sh**,” an apparent reference to SpaceX’s failed rocket launch in April.

Ukraine’s parliament, on its official page on X, accused Musk of spreading Russian propaganda, posting its own version of the meme with a picture of Musk and the caption: “When it’s been 5 minutes and you haven’t spread Russian propaganda”.

A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, who has criticised some of Musk’s statements in the past, said in a post on X that being silent or ironic about Ukraine played into the hands of Russian propaganda.

“Unfortunately, not everyone and not always, while being significant media figures, but being thousands of kilometres away from the war’s epicentre, is able to realise what the daily bombardments and cries of children losing their parents are.”

Ukraine has praised Musk for deploying the Starlink satellites that became a key battlefield tool, helping soldiers communicate in areas where telecommunications are down.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House on September 21. Photo: AP

But Musk also admitted he prevented Kyiv from wiping out Russia’s Black Sea navy fleet last year by denying Starlink internet access for the attack.

He also previously angered Ukraine by proposing that Kyiv give up territorial claims in exchange for peace.

Zelensky visited the United States in September and met top officials in a bid to secure further aid. Over the weekend, aid for Ukraine was omitted from a stopgap funding measure passed by US Congress to avert a US government shutdown.

The United States has been the largest single donor to Ukraine since Russia’s full invasion last year, giving tens of billions of dollars in military and financial aid.

Agence France-Presse and Reuters

Article was originally published from here

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