Elon Musk questions White House claims about victory in Ukraine

It’s unclear what a victory over Russia is supposed to look like, the entrepreneur has claimed.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has challenged the administration of US President Joe Biden to define what “victory” would look like in the Ukraine conflict, after a senior White House official claimed that Kiev can defeat Russia. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan backed Ukraine’s capabilities on MSNBC on Friday, as he hailed Biden’s drawdown of an additional $1 billion worth of weapons for Kiev’s war effort against Moscow. A delay in arms supplies caused by partisan clashes in the US Congress has put Ukrainian forces into a “hole” from which they are yet to dig themselves out, Sullivan said. He claimed, however, that Kiev’s “strategic position is strong” and that US officials “believe ultimately Ukraine can win this war.” “Ukraine has the will to win this war, and we have the will to support them in that effort,” Sullivan vowed. Reacting in a post on X (formerly Twitter), Musk asked: “What does victory look like?”

The billionaire has long been skeptical about the Biden administration’s Ukraine strategy, including its declared willingness to let Kiev dictate the goals of the conflict and the ways of achieving them. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has insisted that a “just peace” requires nothing short of full control of all the territory claimed by Kiev.

The Ukrainian demands, as outlined in the so-called ‘Zelensky formula’, also include war reparations, tribunals for senior Russian officials, and long-term international support of Ukraine’s security and reconstruction. Switzerland is set to host a summit in mid-June, where Kiev and its Western backers will try to convince neutral nations to sign up for the Ukrainian plan. Moscow, which has not been invited to the event, has rejected the Ukrainian formula as being detached from reality. It perceives the hostilities as a Washington-driven proxy war against Russia, in which Ukrainians serve as ‘cannon fodder’. This week, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu estimated Ukrainian military casualties as approaching 500,000 in the conflict. Explaining their opposition to continued arms supplies to Ukraine, US Republican lawmakers have cited the lack of a clear game plan by Zelensky and Biden. Instead, they argue that the funds would be better spent on America’s own needs, particularly the security of the southern US border.