Former White House advisor Fiona Hill believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is using Elon Musk and other prominent figures to help Russia with its agenda in Ukraine.

Hill, who specialized in Russian and European affairs for the Trump administration and testified during the former president's first impeachment trial, spoke with Politico about Putin's determination to push forward in Russia's war with Ukraine despite numerous setbacks.

Hill claimed Putin "can't afford to look like a loser" and will go to extreme lengths to come out on top of the Ukraine war.

She believes the Russian president is using the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX to ease tensions and encourage settlement talks.

Hill pointed out that Musk has previously referred to Crimea as Russian territory and suggested the Ukrainian regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia should be up for negotiation to guarantee water supplies to Crimea.

"He made this suggestion before Putin's annexation of those two territories on Sept. 30. It was a very specific reference," Hill said.

Hill noted that Kherson and Zaporizhzhia control the water supplies to Crimea, which is a dry peninsula. While the area has aquifers, it lacks rivers, making it dependent on the Dnipro River, which flows through a canal from Kherson.

"It's unlikely Elon Musk knows about this himself. The reference to water is so specific that this clearly is a message from Putin," Hill said.

Hill said that Putin often uses prominent figures to "basically test how people are going to react to ideas."

Hill suggested Musk, who has a large social media following, is an ideal candidate to relay messages for Putin.

"He's got a longstanding reputation in Russia through Tesla, the SpaceX space programs and also through Starlink. He's one of the most popular men in opinion polls in Russia," Hill said.

"At the same time, he's played a very important part in supporting Ukraine by providing Starlink internet systems to Ukraine, and kept telecommunications going in Ukraine, paid for in part by the U.S. government. Elon Musk has enormous leverage as well as incredible prominence. "

Hill added, "Putin plays the egos of big men, gives them a sense that they can play a role. But in reality, they're just direct transmitters of messages from Vladimir Putin."

Putin's methods allow him to skip the diplomatic process and convince Americans to abandon their involvement in Ukraine, according to Hill.

"He wants to lay out his terms and see how many people are going to pick them up. All of this is an effort to get Americans to take themselves out of the war and hand over Ukraine and Ukrainian territory to Russia," she said.

Hill's comments come after Musk vowed to continue funding Starlink satellite internet terminals for the Ukrainian government amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"The hell with it...even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we'll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free," Musk tweeted over the weekend.

In a letter to the Pentagon, SpaceX reportedly claimed that the use of Starlink satellites in Ukraine could cost nearly $400 million over the next year.

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a video conference with a group of award-winning teachers