Former senior National Security Council analyst Fiona Hill said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is using entrepreneur Elon Musk to advertise conditions for halting his conflict in Ukraine.
Hill said in an interview with Politico that Putin picked Musk as part of a tried-and-true strategy of employing well-known businesses to spread his demands to a larger audience.
“Putin strokes the egos of powerful men, making them believe they have a role to play. But in truth, Hill said Politico, they just serve as Putin’s personal messengers.
Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, drew the ire of Ukrainian authorities earlier this month when he tweeted out ideas for resolving the conflict to his followers. Specifically, he suggested holding new “elections” in the four Ukrainian areas Putin took “under U.N. supervision,” a reference to the fraudulent referendums the Kremlin orchestrated. Musk also advocated for Russia to officially annex Crimea, which Putin did so illegitimately in 2014.
According to Hill, who works as a prominent foreign affairs fellow on the U.S. and European foreign affairs at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Musk made proposals similar to these last month at the “The Weekend” music festival in Aspen, Colorado.
Hill also noted that Musk had proposed ensuring Crimea would continue to have access to water when Ukrainian authorities cut off the peninsula’s supply from the Dnipro River after the takeover.
Elon Musk probably isn’t aware of this himself, according to Hill. “There is no doubt that this is a communication from Putin since the reference to water is so explicit.”
Musk reportedly told Ian Bremmer of the renowned political risk consultancy Eurasia Group that Putin was “willing to engage” with Ukraine provided certain of his conditions were satisfied.
Musk has said he didn’t speak to Putin. Bremmer continues to hold to his story. Putin, according to Hill, is “essentially short-circuiting the diplomatic process” to achieve his objectives by using Musk as a messenger.
According to Hill, “He wants to put out his conditions and see how many people are going to take them up.” All of this is an attempt to persuade Americans to end their participation in the conflict and turn over Ukraine and its surrounding territories to Russia.
Hill referred to Musk’s choice by Putin as “fascinating,” in part because the wealthiest man in the world has been assisting Ukraine via SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service, which the Ukrainian military has made use of.
CNN reports that Musk had threatened to abandon Starlink if the Pentagon didn’t foot the bill. Since then, Musk has changed his mind and tweeted that SpaceX would continue to support Starlink.
Hill said that Putin aims to alter the global order and that his invasion of Ukraine is causing instability by jeopardizing the world’s food and energy security. According to her, “our world will not be the same as it was before” as a result of the Ukraine crisis.
Elon Musk, who has spoken about taking humans to Mars, and serving as Putin’s spokesperson for the conflict in Ukraine is hilarious, according to Hill, given how difficult it is for humans to cooperate on Earth.
Hill, a top specialist on European and Russian matters at the National Security Council, testified against then-President Donald Trump during his first impeachment. She also worked for George W. Bush and Barack Obama’s administrations.