Elon Musk in meme war with Russia-battered Ukraine after snarky anti-Zelensky swipe

Elon Musk and the meme he shared over his X account.—Reuters/X
Elon Musk and the meme he shared over his X account.—Reuters/X

In the latest development in the social media war between Ukraine and Elon Musk, the X owner took a jibe at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with a snarky meme. 

Musk, the owner of SpaceX, a provider of crucial Starlink satellite communication services for Ukraine’s defence, has at times irked Kyiv with his remarks.

In a recent social media post on X (formerly known as Twitter), Musk posted a meme featuring Zelensky with the caption: “When it’s been 5 minutes and you haven’t asked for a billion dollars in aid.” 

Zelensky and his team have consistently appealed to Western allies for substantial military aid to counter Russia’s invasion.

But it was not too long before Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, responded with his own post on X, humorously alluding to SpaceX’s recent failed rocket launch by saying, “The case when …(Elon Musk) tried to conquer space, but something went wrong and in 5 minutes he was up to his eyeballs in shit.”

Moreover, Ukraine’s official parliamentary page reportedly posted and deleted a meme on their X account accusing Musk of spreading Russian propaganda, depicting Musk with the caption: “When it’s been 5 minutes and you haven’t spread Russian propaganda.”

Mykhailo Podolyak, a Ukrainian presidential adviser who has criticized Musk’s comments before, emphasized on X that staying silent or making light of Ukraine’s plight played into the hands of Russian propaganda. 

He underscored the difficulty of comprehending the daily reality of war, with constant bombings and children losing their parents, for those thousands of kilometres away from the conflict zone.

Throughout the war, Ukrainian officials have taken issue with Musk’s suggestions, such as considering giving up land for peace, a stance Kyiv firmly rejects.

President Zelensky’s visit to the United States in September aimed to secure further aid, but over the weekend, aid for Ukraine was notably absent from a stopgap funding measure passed by the US Congress to avoid a government shutdown. 

The US has been Ukraine’s largest single donor since Russia’s full-scale invasion last year, providing significant military and financial assistance, totalling tens of billions of dollars. 

The meme exchange between Ukraine and Elon Musk underscores the complexities and sensitivities surrounding Ukraine’s ongoing struggle for support in the face of Russia’s aggression.

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