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Ukraine presidential aide warns against Musk’s ‘magical simple solutions’

A top Ukrainian presidential aide criticised Twitter owner Elon Musk on Sunday for the billionaire’s “magical simple solutions,” citing ideas put
forward by Musk on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Twitter content moderation.

December 5, 2022
By Max Hunder
5 December 2022

By Max Hunder

KYIV, Dec 4 (Reuters) – A top Ukrainian presidential
aide criticised Twitter owner Elon Musk on Sunday for the
billionaire’s “magical simple solutions,” citing ideas put
forward by Musk on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Twitter
content moderation.

Mykhailo Podolyak listed “exchang(ing) foreign territories
for an illusory peace” and “open(ing) all private accounts
because freedom of speech has to be total”, as examples of such
suggestions.

“(Elon Musk) prefers so-called magical ‘simple solutions’,”
Podolyak wrote on Twitter, an apparent reference to
self-described free speech advocate Musk’s plans to reform
Twitter, which he took over on Oct. 27, as well as a tweet in
which he called for Ukraine to give up the Russian-occupied
Crimean peninsula in exchange for peace.

Twitter representatives did not immediately reply to a
request for comment.

Ukraine has had a complicated relationship with Musk, the
world’s richest man, since the start of the Russian invasion on
Feb. 24.

He was praised in the war’s early days for providing
thousands of Starlink satellite internet devices, made by Musk’s
SpaceX, to Ukraine free of charge, but the friendship ran into
difficulties in October when Musk voiced support for peace
conditions rejected by Kyiv.

The billionaire called for Crimea, annexed by Moscow in
2014, to be declared formally part of Russia, and for
UN-supervised referendums on whether Russia should stay or leave
to be held in other occupied territories.

The tweet drew angry rebukes from Ukrainian officials,
including Podolyak. Kyiv has repeatedly dismissed the idea that
it will give up land for peace.

Soon after this dispute, Musk publicly complained about the
cost of providing free Starlink services to Ukraine
indefinitely. He said in October that only 10,630 of 25,300
Starlinks sent to Ukraine were actually paying for service.

Kyiv has acknowledged that “some” terminals are being
provided free but has not given exact figures.

In a change of tone Musk said on Oct. 15 that the company
would continue to run Ukraine’s free Starlinks.
(Reporting by Max Hunder; Editing by David Holmes)

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