Elon Musk Jokes He Could Die After Twitter Argument With Russian Dmitry Rogozin

Elon Musk tweeted “nice to know you” after appearing threatened by Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency.

Musk, the multi-billionaire boss of Tesla and SpaceX, took to Twitter on Monday to post a screenshot of what he said was a statement attributed to Rogozin and sent to Russian media.

The alleged statement described how Russian forces learned from captured Ukrainian military commander Col. Dmitry Kormyankov that Ukrainian soldiers were using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet system using equipment delivered to them via military helicopters sent by the Pentagon.

Elon Musk (L) seen during a SpaceX press conference at the company’s Starbase facility in Texas on February 10, 2022, and Dmitry Rogozin, seen during a space industry meeting in Sochi, Russia, in May 2017. Rogozin hit out at Musk on Twitter.
AFP/Getty/Mikhail Svetlov/Jim Watson

“Elon Musk is therefore involved in supplying fascist forces in Ukraine with military communications equipment,” the statement said. “And for that, Elon, you will be held responsible like an adult – no matter how much of a fool you play.”

Newsweek was unable to independently verify the statement attributed to Rogozin. The statement did not provide any details on what being “held accountable” would mean.

In a later tweet, Musk wrote: “If I die in mysterious circumstances, it’s nice to know you.”

Hours later on Monday morning, Rogozin tweeted Musk directly in response, writing, translated from Russian: “No one needs you. Stop being dumb.”

He accused Musk of supplying military communications equipment to Ukrainian forces, which he called “Nazis,” and added, “Think, Elon, which side are you on?”

Russia appears to have been aware of SpaceX’s assistance to Ukraine via Starlink for some time. SpaceX reportedly sent millions of dollars worth of satellite internet equipment to Ukraine so people could continue to access the web despite communication disruptions, and Russia attempted to hack the service.

Dave Tremper, director of electronic warfare for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, praised Starlink’s efforts to repel such attacks at a C4ISRNet defense conference last month, saying the company had “suspended a line of code and corrected it”.

Rogozin, a staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime, has repeatedly made provocative statements throughout Russia’s ongoing and condemned military invasion of Ukraine.

Some of Rogozin’s threats have included Russia’s withdrawal from the International Space Station partnership and the creation of another military-oriented space station. The experts said Newsweek that such ambitious space threats are unrealistic and that it would be impossible for Russia to make significant advances in space at present given the country’s financial situation and political isolation.


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