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Kadyrov enters online row with Elon Musk

16 March 2022
A meme posted on Twitter by Elon Musk.

The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has waded into an online row with American billionaire Elon Musk.

The fight began on 14 March on Twitter when Musk, the 50-year-old founder of Tesla and SpaceX, challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to ‘single combat’ over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, responded by abruptly turning the fight into a poetic duel, citing the work Pushkin’s ‘The Tale of the Pope and his workman Balda’.

After Musk responded by inviting Rogozin to ‘choose his fighter’ alongside an edited photograph of Vladimir Putin on a bear as well as himself using a flamethrower, the head of Chechnya entered the fight.

In his telegram channel, Kadyrov published a post in which he warned Musk not to ‘compete’ with either him or President Putin. Kadyrov mixed up the name of the American billionaire, calling him Elona.

‘Therefore, you need to pump up your muscles in order to turn from gentle Elona into brutal Elon’, he said.

He offered Musk to work out in the Russian University of Special Forces, the Akhmat Fight Club and practice his social media within Russian state-run Grozny TV.


‘You will return from the Chechen Republic as a completely different person, Elona, that is, Elon’, Kadyrov said.

On Wednesday, Musk changed his name on Twitter to ‘Elona Musk’ and thanked Kadyrov for the offer, but that ‘such excellent training would give me too much of an advantage’. 

‘If he is afraid to fight, I will agree to use only my left hand and I am not even left-handed’, he said.

Kadyrov responded by threatening Musk in another post on Telegram. 

‘And yet, Elona, do not try to compete with my President. I'm his foot soldier, and I'll have to challenge you back. And then it will no longer be a funny harmless correspondence’, he said.

Kadyrov has been implicated in a number of murders of government critics both within Russia and internationally, including the 2015 assassination of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

However, the Twitter war ended quite peacefully, with Kadyrov appreciating Musk’s ‘sober and unequivocal’ position in refusing to block Russian sites on the Starlink satellite internet network.

‘I sincerely appreciate people with their own vision of the situation and unshakable will. Thanks to him for this. I respect the character and the absence of double standards! Musk, I hope you were joking about my President after all’, Kadyrov said.

Following the spat, Musk’s mother, Maye Musk, posted a photo of her son edited as a woman.