Elon Musk calls 2014 Ukraine regime change a coup

Last Updated: February 6, 2024By
AFP / Justin Sullivan

Elon Musk calls 2014 Ukraine regime change a ‘coup’

The billionaire described Viktor Yanukovych’s election as ‘dodgy’ but said the coup was beyond question

Twitter CEO Elon Musk polarized his followers with a tweet declaring there was “no question” that the 2014 change of government in Ukraine was a “coup.” On Saturday, the billionaire tweeted that while “the election” – presumably referring to the 2010 vote that elected Viktor Yanukovych president – was “arguably dodgy,” what followed “was indeed a coup.”

The tweet was a response to a post from user @KanekoaTheGreat that featured the front page of an article by University of Chicago Professor John Mearsheimer titled “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is The West’s Fault.” Dating from 2014, the piece – subtitled “The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin” – argues that “NATO enlargement” and Western meddling in Ukrainian politics, and not “Russian aggression,” are to blame for Crimea’s accession to Russia.

Mearsheimer states that “for Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically-elected and pro-Russian president – which he rightly labeled a ‘coup’ – was the final straw,” an explanation Musk appeared to agree with, at least in part.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 25, 2023

While the 2010 election that installed Yanukovych as president was deemed an “impressive display” of democracy by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the West soured on the Party of Regions politician when he abandoned a 2013 economic cooperation agreement with the EU.

Massive violent protests followed, forcing Yanukovych to flee. The US’ hand in the unrest was confirmed in a leaked phone call between then-assistant US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in which they appeared to be plotting to overthrow Yanukovych and install Arseniy Yatsenyuk – who indeed briefly became Prime Minister following Yanukovych’s ouster.

Musk also replied approvingly to a previous post by Kanekoa that featured a video clip of All In podcast host David Sacks claiming that the US “courted” the Ukraine conflict. The video likened Nuland to former Biden administration medical adviser Anthony Fauci, a frequent target of Musk’s ire.

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