Russia may start targeting civilian satellites in space, because Starlink has provided internet service in Ukraine – Technology News, Firstpost

A Russian diplomat named Konstantin Vorontsov said civilian satellites “may become a legitimate target for retaliation,” in a statement to the United Nations’ Open-ended Working Group on Reducing Space Threats.

Russia may start targeting civilian satellites in space, due to Starlink providing broadband in Ukraine

Konstantin Vorontsov is the head of the Russian delegation to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs or the Working Group of the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

Obviously, Vladimir Putin was not too happy about Starlink introducing broadband in Ukraine after the Russian invasion.

An approximate translation of the use of Vorontsov’s statement using Google Translate reads:

“We would like to emphasize a very dangerous trend that goes beyond the harmless use of outer space technologies and became evident during the events in Ukraine. That is, the use of elements of civilian infrastructure, including commercial, by the United States and its allies, in outer space for military purposes. Our colleagues do not seem to realize that such These actions in fact constitute indirect involvement in military conflicts. The quasi-civilian infrastructure may become a legitimate target for retaliation.”

The main reason for this situation stems from the fact that SpaceX’s Starlink division sent satellite stations to Ukraine after Russia’s invasion of the country disrupted broadband networks, with the United States providing funding for the effort. Satellite Internet access was useful in Ukrainian military operations against Russian forces.

Russia may start targeting civilian satellites in space, because Starlink provided internet in Ukraine

Thanks to Starlink, several hacking groups were able to carry out hacking attacks in Russia. Starlink also enabled the Ukrainian armed forces and civilians to launch a series of attacks on key strategic places that impeded the Russian invasion of Ukraine and made them strategically retreat.

Vorontsov’s statement also claimed that the use of civilian satellites might violate the Outer Space Treaty:

“The actions of Western countries unnecessarily jeopardize the sustainability of peaceful space activities, as well as many social and economic processes on Earth that affect the well-being of people, particularly in developing countries. To say the least, this provocative use of civilian satellites is questionable under The Outer Space Treaty, which provides for the exclusive peaceful use of outer space, and must be strongly condemned by the international community.”

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had warned in March of this year that Russia could attack Starlink equipment in Ukraine, although he was referring to user stations on Earth rather than satellites in space. Musk later reported that Starlink had resisted Russian jamming and hacking attacks.

A article on Vorontsov’s note notes that “Russia’s statement at the meeting of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Space Threats comes just a day after two other countries, Germany and Japan, pledged not to conduct disruptive satellite tests (ASAT),” Joining the chorus of countries including the United States, Canada and New Zealand that committed to limiting space debris after a Russian test in November 2021 drew widespread international condemnation. Russia has yet to make such a pledge.”

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