“Elon, you will be held responsible as an adult – no matter how silly you play.”
The tone rose again between the Kremlin camp and Elon Musk. After a first lunar sequence where he directly provoked Putin, he has now drawn the wrath of Dimitriy Rogozine. And like the CEO of SpaceX, the sulphurous director of the Russian space agency does not have his tongue in his pocket either.
On Sunday May 8, Musk posted a note on Twitter that was apparently directed to Russian media by Roscosmos. This refers to the billionaire’s recent decision to organize the delivery of Starlink terminals to the Ukrainian forces (see our article).
As a reminder, this is equipment that provides access to the constellation of web satellites of the same name. They make it possible to provide an Internet connection in remote areas and without depending on the local infrastructure. This delivery therefore represented significant strategic support which was welcomed by Ukrainian officials.
SpaceX now considered a player in the conflict
But as one might expect, this outstretched hand did not go unnoticed by the Kremlin. The gesture was even interpreted as an inherently hostile maneuver. Some Russian officials now seem to consider SpaceX an integral part of the conflict.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
In any case, this is what emerges from the English translation of Rogozin’s message. Remember that Roscosmos, the institution he heads, depends directly on the Russian authorities. Although the style is very different, like Musk, Rogozin is known for his rowdy declarations with an often inquisitive tone. We remember, for example, his half-word threat to the fate of the ISS, and we find the same semantics in this new message.
Based on the testimonies of the captured commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Dmitry Kormyankov, it turns out that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite terminals were delivered to the Nazi Azov battalion and the Marines Ukrainians in Mariupol in military helicopters.
According to our information, the delivery of Starlink equipment was carried out by the Pentagon. Elon Musk, therefore, is involved in supplying fascist forces with military communications equipment in Ukraine. And for that, Elon, you will be held responsible as an adult – no matter how silly you play.”
“Glad to have known you“
The message conscientiously uses the vocabulary used by the Russian authorities since the start of the invasion. We note in particular the presence of the lexical field of Nazism, a political positioning that the Russian press organs continue to attribute to the Ukrainian government and fighters.
It is difficult to know if this targeted message will have concrete consequences later on. It could just be yet another abstract threat; Russian officials have already made dozens of them since the start of the invasion. In any case, the interested party took good note of it. “If I die under mysterious circumstances, I’m glad I knew you“, he dropped on his favorite platform. A touch of humor that apparently did not make his mother, Maye Musk, smile.
That’s not funny😠😠 https://t.co/KgLAzY3F8s
— Maye Musk (@mayemusk) May 9, 2022
A pass of arms (probably) without direct consequences
This dash of humor indicates that Musk doesn’t seem particularly worried about these thinly veiled threats. It must indeed be admitted that since the beginning of the invasion, the Russian authorities have not not always successful in putting deeds behind words – remember that the invasion of Ukraine was originally supposed to be completed in just a few days. A very ambitious deadline which had been hammered away relentlessly by all the Russian propaganda organs at the start of the conflict… and which today is very far from reality.
So far, Russian authorities do not appear to have reacted to Musk’s response. But it is difficult to imagine that this small pass of arms by interposed declarations will go much further. The Russian General Staff certainly has more important issues to deal with at the moment; not sure that the terminals delivered by a billionaire in full communication operation represent a priority, even if they did help the Ukrainian contingent.
In the end, it’s probably a reaction to US involvement in general, more than a threat to Musk in particular. Remember that the US government would have directly participated in the delivery of Starlink terminals. An intervention that was perceived as an affront by Russian decision-makers. The latter have been hammering for weeks that they consider all countries that supply equipment to Ukraine to be hostile.