Elon Musk is facing a growing backlash over a social media post in which he mocked President Zelensky, prompting several critical hashtags to trend on his “X” platform including: #ElonMuskIsATraitor.

In a post on “X” on Sunday evening, the world’s richest man published a modified version of the “frustrated boy meme” with a picture of the Ukrainian president’s face.

The post read: “When it’s been five minutes and you haven’t asked for a billion dollars in aid.”

The post came as developments in Washington meant the future of US aid for Ukraine hangs in the balance amid the political wrangling needed to avoid a government shutdown.

Among Ukrainians there was outrage at the post.

Mariana Betsa, ambassador of Ukraine to Estonia, wrote: “Elon, don’t you have empathy? Ukrainians are killed daily by Russia. We are fighting for our lives, for our families, for our country, for our freedom #StandWithUkraine.”

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Ukrainian academic Roman Sheremeta, wrote: “I used to admire Musk, but he became a mouthpiece of the Russian propaganda and just indecent human being.”

Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainska Pravda made their own version of Musk’s meme.

"Any silence or irony towards Ukraine today is a direct encouragement of Russian propaganda that justifies mass violence and destruction," presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak answered on X.

Ukraine's parliamentary speaker Ruslan Stefanchuk also slammed the post while mocking Musk's attempt to "conquer space", after his SpaceX starship blew up shortly after blasting off in April.

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The votes on the $95 billion foreign aid and arms bills are expected to begin at 1:00 pm (1700 GMT).

Stefanchuk said the attempt had said failed in five minutes and left the billionaire up to his eyeballs in problems, AFP reports.

The backlash was not limited to Ukraine – British MP Stewart McDonald, said Musk’s “mind is in the sewer.”

Glasnot Gone, an account that has tracked and reported on Russia’s full-scale invasion, posted on “X” a comment headed #MoscowMusk

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Phillips O’Brien, Professor of Strategic Studies at St Andrew’s University, also harangued Musk:

Russian state media and Kremlin propagandists swiftly picked up Musk’s comments, reporting them with undisguised glee.

Vladimir Solovyo posted a screenshot of Musk’s tweet, with the caption: “Elon Musk posted a meme about Zelensky begging for money for Ukraine.”

It wasn’t the only thing posted by Musk overnight that raised eyebrows, as highlighted by Bellingcat’s Eliot Higgins:

Musk’s controversial comments about Ukraine and Russia’s full-scale invasion have become a regular feature in recent weeks. Over the weekend he appeared to conflate the situation on Ukraine’s international border with that of the US. 

In a post on “X”, he asked: “Why do so many American politicians from both parties care 100 times more about the Ukraine border than the USA border?”

At the US border, thousands of largely peaceful migrants are crossing in the hopes of claiming asylum in the US.

At the Ukrainian border, tens of thousands of Russian troops have crossed hoping to illegally annex an entire country in what one Moscow general has described as a “stepping stone” to a wider invasion of Europe.

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Comments (7)

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SamInNY
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The Twitter'er (X'er ?) who asked the question regarding Musk's lack of empathy is actually asking a non-rhetorical. Musk suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and is physiologically incapable of the complex hormonal and bio-electrical responses that a normal person feels as 'empathy'.

But he's also smart. He recognizes his syndrome and sometimes indulges in behavior that he thinks will appear as 'being concerned about the war'. It faux, and to normal people it looks bizarre. For other examples look at some of his antics 'bonding' with employees at SpaceX and Tesla, compared with his real world treatment of Twitter (X) employees.

His doctors should advise himself to stay off Twitter and stay away from politics. Because of his condition he cannot see that he is making himself look like a buffoon.

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david
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If Musk was president of Ukraine, which never was a military powerhouse, and now up against a still highly resourced ex superpower like Russia, that has a defence budget exceeding 100 billion, , he would be appealing for money every hour !!
If the subject is money grubbing, Musks various Twitter subscription model attempts show he’s not averse to collecting money himself, when faced with a much smaller problem compared to Ukraines situation. If Musk was president of Ukraine, which never was a military powerhouse, and now up against a still highly resourced ex superpower like Russia, that has a defence budget exceeding 100 billion, , he would be appealing for money every hour !!
If the subject is money grubbing, Musks various Twitter subscription model attempts show he’s not averse to collecting money himself, when faced with a much smaller problem compared to Ukraines situation.

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gavan duffy
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As the Bible says "by their fruits shall they be known." I think we now know.

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Simon
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Wayne
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The border invasion in America is like an infection. It will continue to fester until sepsis sets in and then kill the host. Americans needs to stop the infection to save America.
In Ukraine, the border invasion is more like a wild dod attacking, trying to get his teeth on your throat. The Ukrainians need to grab a rock and put the dog down. Kill or be killed.

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MK
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Oh, the border to Mexico!

How about pay Americans a good salary.
How about many rich people, stop employing people
who doesn't have the proper documentation.
But still want to have cheap workers.
How about punish people who still employ illegals
without documentation, with up to six months in
federal prison. that might stop the fence jumping.

Instead of making every immigrant into monsters.
How about stop kicking people who is down already!

Who knows one day, you guys are in a spot of a bother.
But I know you always kick down, instead of actually
kick upstairs.... you know one day you might be on the
the other side.... treated the same way...

Well nobody gonna listen anyway.

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American Chris
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Musk interviewed American sheriffs of areas along border and US Congressman that represents the district who said millions of illegal immigrants many who are convicted criminals have come across the border. Many times more military age men than the entire Russian forces invading Ukraine. Many American city mayors including New York City demand Biden improve US border security. One sheriff said he had 2 officers to stop 11,000 illegal immigrants on his 150 border. The US death toll by drugs and murder has greatly increased and human trafficking due to illegal migrants. Also, legal Ukrainian migrants to America are mad about US border because they spent money & time to legally enter US. And US system to allow Ukrainians into US fleeing Russian war has been delayed due to overwhelming US border crisis. Americans care about Ukraine but we should not be criticized for defending our homes. Musk and political reprsentatives are forcing Biden to protect Americans. Ukraine government should understand and have empathy for America's crisis.

Roger
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@American Chris,

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HED1117
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@American Chris, you are either a foreign agent or a right wing extremist - same difference. Your willfull ignorance and anti-democratic position has been duly noted.

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wolverine06
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@American Chris, You wrote, "Many American city mayors including New York City demand Biden improve US border security." Only New York City does not have an international border with another country.

You also wrote, "The US death toll by drugs...has greatly increased....due to illegal migrants." Most migrants are so poor they can't even afford to buy dirt to put in their pockets, let alone that score of Fentanyl that is going to make them rich.

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