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Elon Musk changed his name to 'Elona' on Twitter in response to a diss from a Putin ally

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From left, Elon Musk, Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2008, and Ramzan Kadyrov. Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP / Alexsey Druginyn/AFP / Yelena Afonina/TASS, all via Getty Images
From left, Elon Musk, Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2008, and Ramzan Kadyrov. Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP / Alexsey Druginyn/AFP / Yelena Afonina/TASS, all via Getty Images
  • Elon Musk changed his first name to "Elona" on Twitter after a warlord taunted him with the name.
  • Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov called Musk "tender Elona" on Tuesday.
  • The diss came after the billionaire challenged Russian President Vladimir Putin to "single combat."
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Elon Musk changed his name on Twitter to "Elona Musk" on Wednesday after Chechen warlord Ramzan Kadyrov mocked the billionaire.

Kadyrov, the head of Russia's republic of Chechnya and a top ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, took several digs at Musk on Tuesday in response to the Tesla CEO's tweet challenging Putin to "single combat."

In his post on Telegram, the warlord said Putin would beat Musk in a fight, according to an Insider translation. He referred to Musk as "gentle Elona" and drew comparisons between the two men, saying that they're in "two completely different weight classes." He called Putin "a world politician, strategist, a nemesis of the West and the USA," while saying Musk is merely a "businessman and a Twitter blogger," as per an Insider translation.

Musk shared a screenshot of the warlord's post, which included suggestions as to places in Chechnya where Musk could receive training to transform from "Elona" into "brutal Elon," an Insider translation reads.

In his response to the post, Musk doubled down on his challenge against Putin and said the training would give him "too much of an advantage." The billionaire signed his tweet "Elona," and changed his name on Twitter to the warlord's nickname for him.

 

In Russia, "Ilona" is a woman's name. "Elona" seems to be a feminine form of Musk's first name, with which Kadyrov appears to be insinuating that Musk is not masculine enough to face Putin.

Kadyrov is known as one of Putin's greatest supporters. The quasi-autonomous Chechen Republic, which Putin officially gave Kadyrov leadership over in 2011, is known for its crimes against LGBTQ people, as well as the forced marriage of underage girls. In an interview with an HBO reporter in 2017, the warlord said the Chechen Republic does not have LGBTQ people and if they did the country would "purify our blood." Kadyrov has repeatedly been accused of supporting the extensive use of torture, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings against members of the LGBTQ community. 

Musk's mother, Maye Musk, also responded to the warlord's diss on Twitter, resharing a picture of Musk represented in female form.

"You are so pretty Elona," Maye Musk wrote.

Kadyrov is not the only Putin ally to diss Musk. The SpaceX CEO has got into a series of tiffs on Twitter with Russia's space chief, Dmitry Rogozin. The Roscosmos chief has repeatedly threatened to cut off Russia's support to the International Space Station and Musk has presented SpaceX as a solution.

Musk has been outspoken on Twitter in his support for Ukraine. He has provided Ukraine with internet by launching satellite Starlink systems and Tesla has reportedly offered to pay three months salary to Ukrainian employees asked to return home to fight Russia.

Translations provided by Oleksandr Vynogradov.

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