Elon Musk Challenged Putin To 'Single Combat' For Ukraine & Russia Actually Responded

"I am absolutely serious."

Global Editorial Fellow
President ​Vladimir Putin in a meeting. Right: Elon Musk at an event.

President Vladimir Putin in a meeting. Right: Elon Musk at an event.

Elon Musk has challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to single combat on Twitter. The prize: Ukraine.

The Tesla and SpaceX owner issued the challenge via tweet early Monday morning, in what was pretty clearly an effort to troll the Russian president.

It's just the latest in a mix of serious and absurd efforts that Musk has been making to help Ukraine, after Russia invaded the country in late February.

"I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat. Stakes are Ukraine," Musk tweeted, with Putin's name spelled out in Russian.

He later tweeted directly at the official Kremlin Twitter account asking: "Do you agree to this fight?"

He then told someone else on Twitter: "I am absolutely serious."

It might seem ridiculous to challenge a world leader to a fistfight, but Musk has also taken some real action to help the millions in Ukraine. He reportedly sent a bunch of Starlink dishes to keep the country's internet afloat, along with a bunch of chargers and generators for "places where electricity is not available."

Musk also has said that he will be paying Ukrainian Tesla workers if they get conscripted to fight the war. This applies to Tesla's employees in Europe, the Middle East and Africa according to an email obtained by CNBC.

Although the Kremlin has not issued a response to his "single combat" idea, and we suspect they never will, Roscosmos State Space Corporation Director General, Dmitry Rogozin, did respond with a quote from one of Russian poet Alexander Puskin's fairy tales.

"You, little devil, are still young, You are weak to compete with me; It would only be a waste of time. Overtake my brother first," wrote Rogozin, who runs Russia's version of NASA.

Things have been tense between American and Russian space agencies during the conflict, and Rogozin has been a part of that. He recently tweeted that Russians might not help the United States de-orbit the International Space Station ahead of its 2030 end date due to sanctions.

Musk responded to that threat by simply advertising his SpaceX company.

Musk said that he'd keep an eye out on what is happening with the Russia-Ukraine war and will do more to support if he can.

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