From his Silicon Valley peers like recently Bill Gates, the co-founder of software giant Microsoft (MSFT) – Get Microsoft Corporation Report, to President Joe Biden, the richest man in the world fears no one. It’s one of the qualities his more than 91.5 million Twitter followers admire.
When the Russian invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24, the serial entrepreneur was the very first CEO of a multinational to support Ukraine. Not only did Musk clearly chose Kyiv, but he also sent Starlink terminals, the satellite internet connection service of his aerospace company SpaceX, to Ukraine. Not only does Starlink allow Ukrainians independent access to the internet, the service allows the country to keep in touch with the outside world. Starlink is particularly used in areas bombed by Russia and remote areas.
The service also helps the Ukrainian authorities in the communication war against Moscow. Musk also challenged President Putin by proposing a duel with him to end this war. As of May 6, more than 3,150 civilians were killed, countless buildings have been shelled.
‘If I die’
Nearly 5.8 million Ukrainians, or around 14% of the country’s population, have become refugees after fleeing to neighboring countries.
Musk’s Ukrainian support has earned him criticism from some Putin loyalists who have called him names. But the criticisms now seem to have turned into threats to the life of the billionaire. The tech tycoon has indeed just posted on his Twitter account a message from Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
“@Rogozin sent this to Russian media,” Musk wrote on Twitter on May 8. He then posted a screenshot of a text in Russian which would be the message sent to the Russian press by Rogozin.
According to the translation made by TheStreet, this text contains threats to Musk’s life.
“From the testimony of the captured chief of staff of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Dmitry Kormyankov, it follows that the ground-based subscriber equipment of the Starlink satellite company Elon Musk was delivered to the militants of the Nazi Azov Battalion and the Marines of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to Mariupol by military helicopters,” Rogozin wrote.
“According to our information, the delivery and transfer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine of PO boxes for receiving and transmitting the Internet from Starlink was carried out by the Pentagon.”
He therefore concludes that “Elon Musk is thus involved in the supply of fascist forces in Ukraine with military communications.”
Then follows threats on the life of the CEO of Tesla.
“And for this you will have to answer in an adult way, Elon, no matter how you turn on the fool.”
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Back in 2014, Rogozin was deputy prime minister. At the time, Russia had launched its first incursion into Ukraine, seizing Crimea.
Musk seems to take these threats very seriously.
“If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin ya,” the billionaire posted. In a previous tweet, he wonders about Rogozin’s use of the word ‘nazi’.
“The word “Nazi” doesn’t mean what he seems to think it does,” the billionaire said.
A few hours after these tweets, Musk posted another in which he promises to do everything to stay alive.
“Sorry! I will do my best to stay alive,” the mogul wrote.
‘We must Protect You At All Costs’
TheStreet was unable to gain access to Rogozin’s Twitter account which is only accessible upon approval. TheStreet cannot confirm the text containing the threats and therefore relies on Musk’s posts.
This is not the first time that Rogozin has attacked Musk, but it is the first time that he has made threats to the billionaire. Rogozin has already taken it out on Musk after he proposed the idea of a deadly fight between him and Putin.
“You, little devil, are still young,” Rogozin tweeted at Musk in March, quoting a fairy tale by Alexander Pushkin, a Russian poet known for disguising political messages in his stories. “Compete with me weak; It would only be a waste of time. Overtake my brother first.”
Musk’s posts have drawn a great outpouring of sympathy from Twitter users. Many people ask him to reinforce the security around him.
“We must protect you at all costs,” said crypto investor and influencer Anthony Pompliano. “Humanity is counting on you.”
“If you feel the need to, up your security. The world needs you.,” Tesla investor Sawyer Merritt commented.
“Are you assuming assassination by Russian forces?” another user said.
Threats against Musk come on the eve of May 9. The date, which celebrates when the Soviet Union declared its victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, has since become known as “Victory Day” in Russia and numerous post-Soviet states.