Here's How Elon Musk Challenged Putin to 'Single Combat'

The CEO of Tesla Motors said he was “absolutely serious.”

Published March 14, 2022

TOPSHOT - Elon Musk pauses and looks down as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX's Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022. - Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk delivered an eagerly-awaited update on SpaceX's Starship, a prototype rocket the company is developing for crewed interplanetary exploration. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images) (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images))
Image courtesy of Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

In true Elon Musk style, the SpaceX founder took to Twitter on March 14, 2022, to personally challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I hereby challenge Владимир Путин (Vladimir Putin) to single combat,” tweeted Musk. "Stakes are Україна (Ukraine)."

In subsequent tweets, Musk tagged the Kremlin’s official Twitter account, asking Putin: “Вы согласны на этот бой?” which in English translates to, “Do you agree to this fight?” Musk also affirmed that he was “absolutely serious.” (Hard to say, but the entire thread can be read here.)

As of this writing, Putin had not publicly responded to the Tesla founder’s request for a fight, but the tweet quickly went viral with some people cheekily pointing to false rumors that Putin rode bears and would be a tough opponent, given his now-revoked honorary black belt in Taekwondo. Others noted that there were more useful ways to assist the war-stricken nation, like donating to legitimate organizations, including a Ukrainian government-backed campaign to “Send Putin to Jupiter.”

In the weeks since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Putin has been the butt of internet jokes, including a wanted poster advertising a $1 million bounty for his arrest and a now-viral artistic comparison of Putin to German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. Musk has also made headlines for his involvement in the war on Ukraine when he sent Starlink terminals to the nation to make the internet more accessible.  

Madison Dapcevich is a freelance contributor for Snopes.