Fiona Hill: Putin May Be Playing Elon Musk

'It’s very clear that Elon Musk is transmitting a message' for the Russian leader
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2022 12:55 PM CDT
Fiona Hill: Putin May Be Playing Elon Musk
A file photo of Fiona Hill.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Fiona Hill has advised presidents of both parties and is, as Politico points out, renowned for her knowledge of Russia in general and Vladimir Putin in particular. In a lengthy interview with the outlet, Hill doesn't have much good news to impart about the Ukraine war. "There is not going to be a happy or satisfying ending for anybody, and it’s also not going to be happy or satisfying for Vladimir Putin either, honestly," she tells Maura Reynolds. Hill talks about all aspects of the war, including how the current UN isn't capable of handling messes like this. In one part of the discussion, she addresses Elon Musk's recent public suggestion of a peace plan, one that allows Russia to keep some of Ukraine's territory.

  • "Putin plays the egos of big men, gives them a sense that they can play a role," says Hill. "But in reality, they’re just direct transmitters of messages from Vladimir Putin." Elaborating: "Putin does this frequently. He uses prominent people as intermediaries to feel out the general political environment, to basically test how people are going to react to ideas. ... It’s very clear that Elon Musk is transmitting a message for Putin."
  • The choice of Musk is "fascinating," however, says Hill, because while Musk is a big name in Russia thanks to his business enterprises, he's also "played a very important part in supporting Ukraine by providing Starlink internet systems to Ukraine, and kept telecommunications going in Ukraine, paid for in part by the US government." Musk has both prominence and "leverage," she maintains.
  • Read the full interview.
(More Fiona Hill stories.)

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