A week after Chinese physicists simulated a nuclear EMP attack against Starlink satellites, and 11 months after it showed the world it had the technology for, Russia warns the US and its allies that they will shoot down their commercial satellites if they continue to be used in the Ukraine conflict.
A senior Russian foreign ministry official said that commercial satellites from the United States and its allies could become legitimate targets for Russia if they were involved in the war in Ukraine.
Russia, which in 1957 launched Sputnik 1, the first manmade satellite, into space and in 1961 put the first man in outer space, has a significant offensive space capability – as do the United States and China. In 2021, Russia launched an anti-satellite missile to destroy one of its own satellites.
Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry’s department for non-proliferation and arms control, told the United Nations that the United States and its allies were trying to use space to enforce Western dominance.
Vorontsov, reading from notes, said the use of Western satellites to aid the Ukrainian war effort was “an extremely dangerous trend”.
“Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike,” Vorontsov told the United Nations First Committee, adding that the West’s use of such satellites to support Ukraine was “provocative”.
“We are talking about the involvement of components of civilian space infrastructure, including commercial, by the United States and its allies in armed conflicts,” Vorontsov was quoted as saying at the United Nations.
Prepare now! Stock up on Iodine tablets for the next nuclear disaster…
Vorontsov did not mention any specific satellite companies though Elon Musk said earlier this month that his rocket company SpaceX would continue to fund its Starlink internet service in Ukraine, citing the need for “good deeds.”
Technologically, Russia is capable of hitting satellites in space. In November last year, it shot down one of its own discarded satellites with a laser weapon, causing international outrage.
The US criticized the action as “completely insane,” without telling anybody that the US were also working on developing the same technology…
It’s like :
US destroys satellite with jet-launched missile decades ago
World: “Huh, cool trick.”
Russia destroys satellite with missile
World: “Oh bad!” [Reuters]