Ukraine supporter and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk challenged Vladimir Puting to “single combat,” days after reports surfaced that his on-again, off-again girlfriend was living with WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
“I hereby challenge Владимир Путин (Vladimir Putin) to single combat,” Musk tweeted on Monday. “Stakes are Україна (Ukraine).” In a follow-up, he asked in Russian, “Do you agree to this fight?”
When a Twitter user questioned if Musk had thought the challenge through, he replied, “I am absolutely serious.”
Вы согласны на этот бой? @KremlinRussia_E
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 14, 2022
Putin didn’t reply, but the director general of Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, responded with a quote from Russian poet A. S. Pushkin’s The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda.
“You, little devil, are still young,” he tweeted. “Compete with me weakling; It would only be a waste of time. Overtake my brother first.”
The Tesla CEO snarkily shot back, “I see you are a tough negotiator! Ok, you can have 10% more pay per view money.”
He included a meme with the caption, “Choose your fighter,” along with side by side images of shirtless Putin riding a bear, and himself using a flamethrower.
I see you are a tough negotiator!
Ok, you can have 10% more pay per view money. pic.twitter.com/Nrbkz9IsTP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 15, 2022
Days before the exchange, news broke that Musk’s baby mama, Grimes, who he shares two children with, has been dating transgender whistleblower, Chelsea Manning.
— Page Six (@PageSix) March 11, 2022
Manning, who was pardoned by former President Barack Obama in 2017, after serving 7 years of a 35-year prison sentence for disclosing 750,000 sensitive and classified military documents to WikiLeaks.
“They’re getting serious. They U-Hauled it,” Page Six reported. “They’ve been living together in Austin.”