Russian space chief Rogozin threatens Elon Musk, founder jokes of dying "under mysterious circumstances"
Elon Musk has revealed that Russian politician Dmitry Rogozin has accused him of "supplying fascist forces with military communication equipment," and that the richest man in the world would be "held accountable."
In typical Musk fashion, the SpaceX boss responded with a joke, saying "if I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin ya [sic]."
Russian space agency Director General Rogozin was referring to the fact that SpaceX's Starlink equipment has been shipped into Ukraine with the aid of the Pentagon. Starlink satellites help users connect to the Internet by directly linking with satellites rather than going through local Internet service providers' equipment.
Musk announced that his team had started providing Starlink services to Ukraine at the beginning of the invasion as Russian forces were knocking out local communication towers that were normally used for Internet connectivity.
In Rogozin's statement, there were several references to Ukrainian forces being "fascist" and "Nazi" supporters. This follows a propaganda trend by the Russian government, which has maintained that its incursion into Ukraine is aimed at wiping out Nazi authorities who are terrorising Ukrainians.
Musk continued his flippant response to the situation by simply stating, "the word “Nazi” doesn’t mean what he seems to think it does."
Rogozin had earlier shown displeasure with Musk when the SpaceX founder had challenged Russian premier Vladimir Putin to a fist fight for Ukraine's freedom.