Ukraine Questions The Acquisition Of Twitter Amid Shaky Relations With Musk

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has drawn criticism from a senior Ukrainian official, whose relations with Kyiv have been strained ever since the billionaire suggested in early October that Ukraine should cede occupied land for peace.

Musk, a self-described “free speech absolutist,” has stated a desire to shake up Twitter’s content moderation, and after completing the purchase, he tweeted that “the bird is freed.”

On Saturday, Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential aide for Ukraine, tweeted: “Did the bird really get its freedom, or has it just moved to a new cage?”

Musk’s “unusual moderation” of the website was mentioned. Twitter would create a content moderation council “with widely diverse viewpoints,” Musk wrote in a tweet on Friday.

This month, the Tesla CEO posted a Twitter poll suggesting that Ukraine permanently cede Crimea to Russia, that new referendums be held under U.N. auspices to decide the fate of Russian-controlled territory, and that Ukraine accept neutrality. This drew ire from Kyiv and praise from Moscow.

The response to Musk’s takeover of Twitter in Kyiv also stood in stark contrast to that in Moscow, where Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chair of Russia’s Security Council, tweeted his congratulations to Musk on Friday.

“Good luck (Elon Musk) in overcoming political bias and ideological dictatorship on Twitter. And quit that Starlink in Ukraine business,” Medvedev wrote, referring to the thousands of satellite-connected internet devices Musk’s company SpaceX operates in Ukraine.

As regular mobile and internet connections are frequently absent or insecure in frontline areas, Starlinks are an essential communication tool for the Ukrainian military.

Midway through October, news broke in American media that SpaceX might start asking the American government for money for Starlink services in Ukraine, which Musk estimates will cost his company $100 million by the end of 2022.

Musk said that SpaceX had withdrawn the request in response to the reports.

(Adapted from


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