Elon Musk has reacted to what appears to be a threat from the president of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, telling followers that “it’s been lovely knowing you if I die under unexplained circumstances.” Following Russian forces’ invasion of Ukraine and Musk’s decision to transfer Starlink satellites to help the country, the billionaire’s relationship with Dmitry Rogozin, the president of Roscosmos, has worsened substantially.
Musk challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to a single fight with Ukraine as the “stakes,” to which the increasingly unpredictable Rogozin answered by invoking A. S. Pushkin’s story The Tale of the Pope and His Worker Balda: Rogozin recently accused Musk of aiding Nazis in Ukraine, an allegation Russia has used to legitimize its incursion.
“It appears from the testimony of Colonel Dmitry Kormyankov, the captured commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite company’s internet terminals were delivered to militants of the Nazi Azov Battalion and Ukrainian Marines to Mariupol by military helicopters,” the Roscosmos head wrote on his Telegram account. “As a result, Elon Musk is participating in providing military communications to the Nazi troops in Ukraine. And for this, Elon, no matter how much you play the fool, you will be held accountable as an adult.”
“The word ‘Nazi’ doesn’t signify what he appears to believe it means,” Musk said simply. He joked about dying under unexplained circumstances in another tweet, a fate that appears to strike a lot of those who criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin. Former Russian press minister Mikhail Lesin died of “blunt force damage to the head,” according to the medical examiner’s office in Washington, DC. In November 2015, Lesin, the founder of the English-language television network Russia Today (RT), was discovered dead in a hotel room in Washington, DC.
According to the Daily Beast, Lesin was considering cutting a deal with the FBI to insulate himself from corruption accusations before his death. Lesin had been at the center of Russian politics for years and would have known a great deal about the inner workings of the wealthy and powerful. Lesin isn’t the only member of Putin’s cabinet who has died in suspicious or violent circumstances. Here are some of the other persons suspected of being assassinated by Putin, a former KGB lieutenant colonel and former head of the FSB.