Vladimir Putin 'told Elon Musk he was prepared to use nuclear weapons'

Vladimir Putin ‘told Elon Musk he was prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend annexed regions of Ukraine’ when billionaire Tesla founder, 51, spoke privately with the warring dictator, 70, in a bid to act as a peacemaker

  • World’s richest man is said to have spoken privately with Putin in recent weeks
  • Putin also reportedly said he was ‘prepared to negotiate’ if he could keep Crimea 
  • Musk said Putin was determined to win ‘no matter what’, reported Vice News

Last night it was claimed Vladimir Putin told billionaire Elon Musk he would use nuclear weapons to defend annexed regions of Ukraine.

The world’s richest man was said to have spoken to the Russian president privately in recent weeks in a bid to act as a peacemaker.

Tesla boss Mr Musk told others that Putin was determined to win ‘no matter what’, according to Vice News. 

The Kremlin strongman is also said to have implied the nuclear option remained in play if Ukraine refused to recognise his annexation of four regions of Ukraine last month.

It was also claimed Putin told Mr Musk he was ‘prepared to negotiate’ a settlement with the caveat Crimea was recognised as part of Russia.

Last night it was claimed Vladimir Putin told billionaire Elon Musk (pictured) he would use nuclear weapons to defend annexed regions of Ukraine

But last night Mr Musk denied the reports, writing on Twitter: ‘I have spoken to Putin only once and that was about 18 months ago. The subject matter was space.’

Recently Mr Musk caused outrage when he appeared to support Russia’s occupation of the provinces while airing his opinions on the war.

It came as Nato said it would hold nuclear exercises next week in the face of threats from Russia. 

Secretary general Jens Stoltenberg stressed the annual drills were ‘routine’ and ‘long-planned’.

Commuters burned to death in their cars while pedestrians were peppered with shrapnel – and Putin’s message to the West? YOU’RE NEXT: Chilling warning from Mayor of Kyiv VITALI KLITSCHKO after Russia’s ‘barbaric’ rush hour assault on the Ukrainian capital

By Vitali Klitschko for the Daily Mail 

The rockets began raining down at 8.20am, just as thousands of people were hurrying to work and dropping their children at kindergartens and schools.

Commuters were burned to death in their cars, pedestrians were peppered with shrapnel and one explosion left a huge crater in the middle of a children’s playground.

In all, seven innocent people were slaughtered by the Russian barbarians in Kyiv on Monday morning. Another 51 people are being treated for serious injuries.

Nobody in Ukraine’s capital city was spared the horror. A pedestrian bridge beloved of residents for its sweeping views of the capital was also deliberately bombed, along with some 45 residential buildings housing hundreds of families, three schools and a nursery.

By targeting non-combatants for butchery and destroying civilian infrastructure, Russia has again proved itself to be a terrorist state.

This act of premeditated murder and mayhem is only the latest example of Vladimir Putin’s determination to annihilate Ukrainians as a people. But our spirit remains unbroken.

Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko says his people have not ‘given the enemy the satisfaction of seeing us bow our heads in sorrow’

Though our blood was spilled on Monday, we did not give our enemy the satisfaction of seeing us bow our heads in sorrow. We continued to stand tall, our hearts heavy with grief but our dignity and resolve intact.

There is no panic or demoralisation. Ukrainians have shown at every stage of this harrowing war the extent of their inner resources. Russia has spent the better part of the year trying to bring us to our knees. It hasn’t worked.

They attempt to intimidate us with terror, but that only makes us more passionate about preserving our nation and identity as we draw on our limitless reserves of courage to defeat Russian savagery.

What is unfolding in Kyiv is a totemic battle in the struggle for civilisation, one that is inextricably linked to the preservation of democracy and freedom.

For Ukraine is not just fighting Russia, but the darkness of totalitarianism and tyranny.

Mr Klitschko said: ‘Putin will not stop his nuclear blackmail of the civilised world if he succeeds in his mission to suppress Ukraine’

My people have shown that they have the strength of purpose to fight for their freedom, whatever the cost. They have shown great unity of purpose in the cause of protecting their families, their cities and their state.

We only become stronger and more unbreakable with each blow we endure. In the moments after the first explosion, the first responders were ordinary residents of Kyiv, who rushed to the streets to aid the wounded.

Those who were evacuated to safety in the subway spent the next five and half hours comforting each other and singing the national anthem. Can such a nation be defeated? No! Can such a nation be crushed? Never!

And yet, after everything we have seen, there are still those in the West who find fault with Ukraine. If only Kyiv would kneel before its invaders, these Westerners say, there will be peace.

If Ukraine continues in its efforts to protect its sovereignty, they warn darkly – in language borrowed from Putin – there could be nuclear war.

In response I ask: Would Britain, for instance, cede some of its territories to strike a ‘peace’ deal with an invading army that wants to wipe it out? Would you give up the independence of your country, the freedom of your children? I don’t think so. The same is true for Ukraine.

Have you seen what Russia did in the territory it did occupy? In towns and villages from Bucha and Irpin to Izyum and Lyman, we have unearthed dozens of mass graves containing the bodies of civilians – men, women and children executed for the sin of being Ukrainian.

Forensic investigators stand next to a body that was exhumed from what is believed to be a mass grave on Tuesday. Mr Klitschko said Ukraine needs ‘more weapons, greater economic support and even tighter sanctions on Russia’ 

Let me tell you this: Putin will not stop his nuclear blackmail of the civilised world if he succeeds in his mission to suppress Ukraine. This basic fact must be understood by everyone. And this is why the imperialist ambitions of the Putin regime must not be satisfied. They must be stopped.

If it is not defeated, Putin’s imperial bloodlust will not end here. He will target other countries and there will be many more victims. It is no exaggeration to say that Ukraine is on the front line in the war for civilisation. Our blood is being spilled to protect something greater than all of us.

The explosions in Kyiv weren’t an attack on Ukraine alone – they contain a message to the rest of the world: You’re next.

Ukraine needs more weapons, greater economic support and even tighter sanctions on Russia to stop the crazed dictator before he broadens his attacks. As Kyiv’s mayor, I am with my people, the citizens of my home town. Against us is a state that wants to devour foreign territory and erase a sovereign nation.

Its soldiers are fighting for money, cars, the opportunity to loot Ukrainian houses – or simply out of a terror of being punished for desertion.

We, who did not start this conflict, fight for something you can relate to: Our families, our freedom, the future of our children. This is our home: We don’t have the option of retreating. We must cope with and overcome every challenge. We must win. I would even say that, given the cause for which we are fighting, we Ukrainians do not have the right to capitulate or accept defeat.

Eight months ago, nobody could have imagined Kyiv would be under attack, because everyone outside this country expected us to collapse within days of Putin’s tanks rolling across the border.

We surprised the world with our fortitude and tenacity. This is our land, and the truth is on our side. We are never going back to the Soviet past. Kyiv is the proud and ancient capital of a state marching towards its European future. And Moscow’s bombs will not stop us.

As told to Kapil Komireddi, the author of Malevolent Republic: A Short History Of The New India

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