Elon Musk Says Vladimir Putin Can 'Bring His Bear' to Their Fight For Ukraine

Elon Musk has upped the stakes in his proposed fight with Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, telling the Russian president he can even "bring his bear."

On Monday, Musk publicly challenged Putin on Twitter, calling him out and tagging the Kremlin in the process. Musk actually received a response from Dmitry Rogozin, a high-ranking Russian politician which prompted the Tesla CEO to negotiate.

Musk, who has previously voiced his support for Ukraine, was criticized on Monday for sharing a meme that seemed to mock people supporting Ukraine online but his latest Tweets suggests he's still invested in the current conflict.

Here's an overview of how the Twitter exchanges progressed.

Musk Vs. Putin: Round 1

Around midday on Monday, Musk threw down the gauntlet and challenged Putin to a fight. In a tweet written in a mix of Russian and English, Musk wrote, "I hereby challenge Vladimir Putin to single combat." He concluded "Stakes are Ukraine."

Musk followed this up by then tagging the Kremlin Twitter account, labeled as the President of Russia, and wrote in Russian, "Do you agree to this fight?"

The proposal was widely shared online with almost almost 70,000 retweet and quote tweets.

Of the many thousands who replied, Dmitry Rogozin's response caught Musk's attention. The former deputy prime minister of Russia and the current director general of Roscosmos, the Russian space program, replied with a cryptic quote from an old Russian fairy tale. Rogozin's quote from The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda roughly translates to, "You, little devil, are too young to take me on, it's a waste of time, have a go at my brother instead."

Musk Vs. Putin Rogozin: Round 2

Undeterred by the lack of response from Putin directly, and the unusual reply from Rogozin, Musk replied directly to the politician and upped the stakes.

He taunted Rogozin with a joke about offering him more of the pay per view money, a technique usually reserved for boxing match negotiations. Musk wrote, "I see you are a tough negotiator! Ok, you can have 10% more pay per view money."

Alongside the tweet, Musk suggested Rogozin could choose his fighter: Either a shirtless Vladimir Putin riding a bear through a stream, or Elon Musk wielding a flamethrower.

Offering Putin a further advantage, Musk added "He can even bring his bear."

Putin is famed for his claims of martial arts prowess, though he recently had his black belt revoked by the international taekwondo organization, but Musk can boast his own expertise in the area too. In 2020, he spoke about his own experiences with taekwondo, karate, Brazilian jiu jitsu and judo as a child during his appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

Not backing down from the confrontation, Rogozin replied early on Tuesday morning by bringing up an old tweet of Musk's where he suggested that "at least 50 per cent" of his tweets are sent from "a porcelain throne."

In Russian, Rogozin wrote, "Elon, get off the toilet, then we'll talk."

The ball's now in Musk's court to reply.

Elon Musk and Vladimir Putin fight
Elon Musk has publicly challenged Vladimir Putin to a fight, even suggesting he can bring his bear. Musk (bottom right) shared an image on his Twitter account of Putin and himself as fighters. Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images