The Tesla titan took to Twitter and proposed a string of ideas to solve the eight-month conflict, asking his followers to vote “yes” or “no” on his proposals, which included formally allowing Russia to annex Crimea.
And the stunt went down badly with the country’s leader who took to Twitter with a poll of his own.
Mr Zelensky, who has become a social media star in his own right in the course of the war, asked his 6.6m Twitter followers to choose which Elon Musk they “liked more.”
He then gave them two options, “One who supports Ukraine” or “One who supports Russia.”
The world’s richest man has received sharp criticism from Ukrainians after setting out specific peace proposals to end the war.
“Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people,” wrote Mr Musk.
“ Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).
“Water supply to Crimea assured. Ukraine remains neutral.”
The world’s richest person then added: “This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end – just a question of how many die before then.
“Also worth noting that a possible, albeit unlikely, outcome from this conflict is nuclear war.”
He later added: “Russia is doing partial mobilization. They go to full war mobilization if Crimea is at risk. Death on both sides will be devastating. Russia has >3 times population of Ukraine, so victory for Ukraine is unlikely in total war. If you care about the people of Ukraine, seek peace.”
Mr Musk’s proposals, including polling those in annexed areas, were also slammed by some Twitter critics.
“First, it’s just insane to poll people in an active and contested warzone, even during a ceasefire. The UN observers aren’t staying forever. What happens to voters who vote the ‘wrong’ way after one side wins?” tweeted Dmitry Grozoubinski, a Ukrainian-born former Australian diplomat.
And another user added: “Elon projects Russian propaganda, Ukraine brings out the heavy weapons.”
“There should have been a third option: Elon Musk that shuts up about things he knows nothing about,” tweeted another user.