‘Odessa will fall’, Musk warns Ukraine — RT World News

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Kiev should pursue a “negotiated settlement” with Moscow before it loses all access to the Black Sea, the billionaire has argued

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has reiterated his belief that Ukraine’s position is weakening with each passing day of the hostilities, warning that the “real question” is how much territory Kiev will lose and how many lives it will waste before sitting for talks with Moscow.

The entrepreneur claimed in a post on his X platform on Saturday that “any fool could have predicted” that Kiev’s much-touted counteroffensive last year would fail, adding that even if Kiev had followed his recommendation to “entrench and apply all resources to defense,” it would be “tough to hold land that doesn’t have strong natural barriers.”

“It was a tragic waste of life for Ukraine to attack a larger army that had defense in depth, minefields and stronger artillery when Ukraine lacked armor or air superiority!,” Musk wrote.

Kiev has lost over 444,000 troops killed and wounded in two years of hostilities against Moscow, including more than 166,000 during last year’s counteroffensive, according to last month’s estimates from the Russian Defense Ministry. However, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed in February that Kiev’s forces lost only 31,000 soldiers killed since the start of the conflict.

The billionaire went on to argue that “the longer the war goes on, the more territory Russia will gain until they hit the Dnepr, which is tough to overcome.”

However, if the war lasts long enough, Odessa will fall too… Whether Ukraine loses all access to the Black Sea or not is, in my view, the real remaining question. I recommend a negotiated settlement before that happens.

Elon Musk has shifted his position on Ukraine several times since the conflict began in early 2022. He initially supplied Kiev with free Starlink internet terminals and access to the satellite-based network, but declined to activate the service near Crimea for fear that Ukraine would use it to guide drone attacks on Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. If this had happened, he explained last year, SpaceX would have been “complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”

Musk has also used his X account to speak extensively about the trajectory of the conflict. More than a year ago, he proposed that Kiev abandon its claim to Crimea, declare neutrality, and allow the four new Russian regions – Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye – to hold fresh referendums on joining the Russian Federation. This proposal is similar to the terms offered by Russia to Kiev and the Western powers before the conflict began, except Moscow initially called only for autonomy in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Moscow has stressed that it remains open to meaningful talks with Kiev and has blamed the lack of a diplomatic breakthrough on the Ukrainian authorities, who refuse to accept the “reality on the ground.” Ukraine must take into account the fact that its borders have changed drastically since 2022, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday, commenting on Zelensky’s suggestion that a return to 1991 borders was no longer a precondition for negotiations.

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