Russian Space Boss Threatens Elon Musk Over Ukraine Aid

Hostilities have amped up between the SpaceX CEO and the chief of Russia’s own extraterrestrial program over Musk’s Starlink internet terminals in Ukraine

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted a message to the world Sunday stating, “If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin ya”

Kind of a strange sentiment, until you reflect that minutes earlier Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin, Director General of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos—and a very close pal to Vlad Putin—had publicly warned his rival spaceman that he would soon be made to pay the price for  shipping thousands of his company’s Starlink internet terminals to Ukrainian defense forces.

Rogozin tweeted—and Musk retweeted—a “report” from a Russian colonel in Ukraine who claimed that the terminals “were delivered to the militants of the Nazi Azov Battalion and the Ukrainian Marines in Mariupol by military helicopters… Elon Musk, thus, is supplying the fascist forces in Ukraine with military communications equipment.”

Since Rogozin wouldn’t be a true weirdo Russian oligarch if he didn’t lay down some Blofeld-level threats, he added, “And for this, Elon, you will be held accountable like an adult—no matter how much you’ll play the fool.”

Pretty much the entire world is on Ukraine’s side, so it’s unclear whose hearts or minds Rogozin is trying to win over. While Musk didn’t discuss the presence of his Starlink terminals among the resistance, he address Russia’s tired story about the fascists in Ukraine being Ukrainian.

Perhaps paraphrasing The Princess Bride‘s Inigo Montoya, Musk wrote, “The word ‘Nazi’ doesn’t mean what he seems to think it does”

Those familiar with Rogozin know he rivals Musk not only in low-earth orbiting, but also in being a Twitter troll of the first order.

When the invasion of Ukraine began and President Biden said sanctions would degrade Russia’s space program, Rogozin threatened to strand U.S. astronaut Mark Vande Hei on the International Space Station while his cosmonaut colleagues flew home on a Russian spaceship.

Astronaut Scott Kelly taunted him about it, Rogozin responded, “Get off, you moron! Otherwise, the death of the #ISS will be on your conscience.” Kelly then needled him further, to which the apparatchik fired back, “Mr Scott Kelly! You needlessly provoke me. I will not allow you to behave like that with me. You are being defiant and destructive.”

A few days later, when Musk challenged Putin to “single combat,” Rogozin immediately had his man’s back, tweeting at Musk, “You, little devil, are still young. Compete with me weakling; It would only be a waste of time. Overtake my brother first.”

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