Elon Musk challenges Vladimir Putin to ‘single combat’ over Ukraine


Elon Musk has challenged Russian president Vladimir Putin to “combat” over Ukraine.

In a tweet on Monday, the Tesla CEO called on Mr Putin to accept his challenge for the stake of the under-siege country.

He said in a tweet, which has received 73,000 likes: “I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat. Stakes are Ukraine.”

Mr Musk then followed up the message with a tweet in Russian, saying: “Do you agree to this fight?”

The Tesla CEO said Starlink satellite services had been sent to Ukraine in order to provide internet to areas of the country without coverage.

Following calls to send equipment to Ukraine, the country’s technology minister praised Musk for the delivery of Starlink stations on March 9 – the second delivery from the company.

Mykhailo Fedorov said: “Received the second shipment of Starlink stations! Elon Musk keeps his word! Thank you for supporting Ukraine and peace in the entire world!”

While Starlink services were first set up across Ukraine on February 24 – the day Mr Putin’s forces invaded the country – Mr Musk has refused to block Russian news sources on the network.

He said: “Starlink has been told by some governments not Ukraine to block Russian news sources. We will not do so unless at gunpoint.

“Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”

Starlink is a constellation of satellites which connects ground-based stations to the internet service.

While Mr Musk refused to block Russian service, the Kremlin blocked Instagram after state media watchdog Roskomnadzor accused the social media platform of “calling for violence” against its soldiers.

On March 4, the agency also blocked access to Facebook in Russia following allegations of discrimination against Russian media sources.

Earlier this month, the Russian government also passed a new law to stop the spread of what it called “fake news”.

The new law will prohibit the spread of information concerning the armed forces or anything which may discredit the Russian army.

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