Home / News / World /  Elon Musk challenges Vladimir Putin to single combat. Ukraine is on stake

Tesla and SpaceX chief Elon Musk on Monday challenged Vladimir Putin to single combat over Ukraine.

“I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat," Musk wrote on Twitter, adding: “Stakes are Ukraine."

“Do you agree to this fight?" he said.

Musk had earlier provided Ukraine with internet connectivity through the company's Starlink satellites. 

The move came in response to a plea by the Ukrainian deputy prime minister to help the country keep access to the internet amid the Russian invasion.

The service operates a constellation of more than 2,000 satellites that aim to provide internet access across the planet.

Web monitoring group NetBlocks has reported a series of significant disruptions to internet service in Ukraine since the Russian invasion began.

"Some Starlink terminals near conflict areas were being jammed for several hours at a time," Musk said last week.

"SpaceX reprioritized to cyber defense & overcoming signal jamming. Will cause slight delays in Starship & Starlink V2."

However, Musk had also stated Starlink will not block Russian media outlets "unless at gunpoint."

"Starlink has been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint," the tech titan tweeted.

"Sorry to be a free speech absolutist."

Earlier, the European Union banned Russian state-funded RT and Sputnik from the 27-nation bloc, while US-based social media giants including Twitter and Facebook parent Meta have taken steps to block the spread of Russian state-linked news media.

Russian authorities have imposed a news blackout, with multiple media websites partially inaccessible, Twitter restricted and Facebook blocked.

Meanwhile, reports have stated that surging raw materials costs, made worse by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, could set back the dream of the Tesla chief and other auto executives to roll out more affordable electric vehicles.

Rising prices of nickel, lithium and other materials threaten to slow and even temporarily reverse the long-term trend of falling costs of batteries, the most expensive part of EVs, hampering the broader adoption of the technology, said Gregory Miller, an analyst at industry forecaster Benchmark Mineral Intelligence.


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