Vlad and Elon 4-eva.
Bully 4 U
Russian President Vladimir Putin has weighed in on Elon Musk — and unsurprisingly, he's bullish.
"As far as private business and Elon Musk is concerned," Putin said at Russia's Eastern Economic Forum, per a Reuters translation, "he is undoubtedly an outstanding person. This must be recognized, and I think it is recognized all over the world."
Putin added that he thinks Musk is "an active and talented businessman and he is succeeding a lot, including with the support of the American state."
Though he didn't mention it explicitly, the Russian president's comments come just days after Musk revealed that he'd denied a Ukrainian request for Starlink internet access on the front lines of its war with Russia — a denial that essentially sabotaged Ukraine's military in its defense against the invaders.
The South African-Canadian entrepreneur claims he chose not to grant the Starlink request because he felt Ukraine's "obvious intent" was "to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor."
"If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation," Musk continued, not acknowledging the many acts of war and escalations undertaken by Russia, who he implicitly supported with this decision and in countless other major and minor utterances.
In the 18-ish months since the start of the Russian invasion, Musk has gone from challenging Putin to hand-to-hand combat and threatening him with a flamethrower to suggesting that Ukraine give in to the country's demands or risk nuclear war.
After Musk's strange suggestion that Ukraine throw down the white flag, Kremlin officials began back-handedly complimenting the world's richest man while rumors began swirling that the Russian president and the SpaceX and Tesla owner were in talks. Musk denied that he'd spoken to Putin since the invasion began, but the world has nevertheless watched with unease as the once-acrimonious relationship between these two uber-powerful men cooled off — and now, the Russian politician is outright praising the controversial titan of industry.
Musk hasn't yet responded to Putin's praise, but it seems only a matter of time before he says something about the accolades — and there seems little doubt that he'll throw out a few of his own, too.
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