Elon Musk proposed a way to end the war in Ukraine on his Twitter account (@elonmusk). He proposes to conduct new referenda under UN supervision in the four regions that Russia occupied, so that the people who live there can decide whether they want to be Ukrainian or Russian. Musk would give Crimea to Russia, which it took by force in 2014.

This proposal is completely unacceptable to Ukraine, because these four regions are part of Ukraine. Russian forces do not fully control them, and with every passing day, Ukrainians are liberating more of the occupied territories.

In addition, it is not possible to hold a fair and free election in areas where a large part of the population has been killed or fled. As Ukrainian troops recapture villages and towns, they find many of them deserted. What does a referendum mean when the residents are gone?

Furthermore, Russia could pull the same stunt in all the former Soviet satellites: invade, terrorize the local population, then hold a referendum…the victors representing whom?

There is a far simpler way to end the war and stop the killing.

Putin could announce that he had achieved his goal of preventing Ukraine from joining NATO, declare victory, and withdraw all his forces.

The war would be over.

Once the killing ends, someone must decide who will pay to rebuild Ukraine. Clearly it must be Russia, which started the war, without provocation.