Elon Musk has applauded Garry Kasparov, calling him an “idiot” and a “moron” after the Russian chess champion lambasted the Tesla CEO for proposing a peace plan for Ukraine that critics say favors the Kremlin.
Kasparov fired the first salvo when he appeared on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ on Monday and slammed Musk for suggesting that Ukraine cede Crimea to Russia as part of a comprehensive peace settlement in Eastern Europe.
“The cost is huge but Ukraine is paying this cost,” Kasparov, a Russian opposition member who now lives in exile in Croatia after becoming a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, told CNBC on Monday.
“So why are people sitting in the comfort of their Silicon Valley mansions telling Ukraine how to run its own business?”
Kasparov accused Musk of “moral idiocy and geopolitical blindness”.
Musk took to Twitter to hit back at Kasparov, a grandmaster who ruled the chess world from 1984 until his retirement in 2005.
“While it’s true that Kasparov is almost as good at playing chess as my iPhone, he’s otherwise an idiot,” Musk tweeted.
“And I don’t even own a house, let alone a ‘mansion,’ you moron,” Musk replied.
In a subsequent tweet, Musk revealed that he was “back in a guest room/couch surfing at friends’ house in Silicon Valley, which I did for about a decade.”
“Honestly, I like it that way, because I see my friends more often, who I like,” Musk tweeted.
The Post has sought comments from Kasparov.
Kasparov, who has called Putin a “fascist threat…not just to his neighbors, but to the whole world,” has used his public profile to demand more aggressive Western intervention against Russia.
But Musk has taken a more dovish stance in recent weeks, calling for a negotiated settlement that would end the war.
The tech mogul sparked outrage among Ukraine supporters when he tweeted a poll asking his tens of millions of Twitter followers whether a negotiated settlement with Russia should include ceding the Crimea region .
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and one of his diplomats reacted angrily.
“F— off is my very diplomatic response,” tweeted Ukrainian diplomat Andrij Melnyk.
Last week, Musk dropped a threat to cut off Ukraine’s access to its Starlink satellite internet service due to funding issues.
Musk also denied a claim by geopolitical analyst Ian Bremmer that the tech mogul personally spoke to Putin just weeks before he tweeted his peace proposals.
New York Post