Elon Musk Doubles Down on His Challenge to Fight Vladimir Putin

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  • Musk challenged Putin to one-on-one combat over Ukraine, which Russia invaded on February 24.
  • A Chechen leader purportedly argued on Telegram that the Russian president would wreck Musk.
  • “If he is afraid to fight, I will agree to use only my left hand and I am not even left-handed,” Musk said.

Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, doubled down on his challenge to fight Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he’d fight the Russian dictator with his left hand.

Musk tweeted in response to an apparent post from the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov, a Putin loyalist, posted a long Telegram post in which he insulted Musk by calling him “Elona” and argued that the Russian president would beat “the hell” out of Musk.

“So you need to go to the gym and get stronger, to turn yourself from a tender Elona into a brutal Elon,” he said. (Musk then changed his Twitter display name to “Elona Musk.”)

The Chechen leader also mockingly suggested three places for Musk to train in Chechnya, including the Russian University of the Spetsnaz, a special-forces training school; Akhmat Martial Arts School; and the Chechen State Broadcasting Company.

“Elon Musk, I suggest you do not challenge Putin. You’re in two completely different weight classes,” Kadyrov wrote.

Musk declined the offer for additional training, saying it would give him “too much of an advantage.” 

“If he is afraid to fight, I will agree to use only my left hand and I am not even left-handed,” he tweeted, signing his tweet with his newly given nickname “Elona.”

Musk’s original tweet challenging Putin was posted on Monday and written in both English and Cyrillic script: “I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat. Stakes are Ukraine.”

Russia invaded its neighboring country of Ukraine on February 24. As of March 14, the war has resulted in at least 600 deaths, though the actual number is likely much higher, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Since the war started, Musk has activated satellite-internet service in Ukraine through Starlink systems, which Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked him for. 

SpaceX, Musk’s aerospace company, also heckled the head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, during the Starlink system launch.

“Time to let the American broomstick fly and hear the sounds of freedom,” SpaceX’s launch director said on a live stream, referencing one of Rogozin’s remarks. 

Translations provided by Nikita Ilyich Angarski.

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