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Russia says private satellites could become 'legitimate target' during wartime

2022-09-20 15:36 by
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A Russian diplomat said civilian satellites could be legitimate military targets in a statement that seems to refer to Starlink providing broadband access in Ukraine. Civilian satellites "may become a legitimate target for retaliation," the Russian official said in a statement to the United Nations' open-ended working group on reducing space threats.

Vorontsov-who was reportedly a former acting Deputy Director of Russia's Foreign Ministry Department-didn't name SpaceX or Starlink by name. But he noted:

"We would like to underline an extremely dangerous trend that goes beyond the harmless use of outer space technologies and has become apparent during the events in Ukraine. Namely, the use by the United States and its allies of the elements of civilian, including commercial, infrastructure in outer space for military purposes. It seems like our colleagues do not realize that such actions in fact constitute indirect involvement in military conflicts. Quasi-civilian infrastructure may become a legitimate target for retaliation".

The statement from Russia seems to have caught the attention of SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. On Friday, he tweeted out: "Starlink is meant for peaceful use only."

SpaceX has supplied over 12,000 Starlink dishes to Ukraine to help keep the country online during its war with Russia. The system is delivering high-speed broadband to many civilian areas across the country, including hospitals, residences, and businesses. However, it's no secret that the Ukrainian military has also been using Starlink to send encrypted messages and to control drones that can attack Russian forces.

Read more -here-


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