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Russia Threatens US, Commercial Satellites Could Become Legitimate Targets For Russia if They Meddle in Ukraine War- The Possible Outcome

Russia: In a direct forewarning to the US, Russia explained its predicament that it could target U.S. commercial satellites if they are used to help Ukraine, expanding its threats of reprisals to a new arena.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has elucidated that it has no plans of using nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Speaking at a policy conference in Moscow he however claimed that it is a cultural war with futile rhetorics between Russia and the US, which is unnecessary meddling in their internal affairs and trying to impose its tantrums on the rest of the world.

No Nuclear War from Russia – assures Putin

“We have never said anything on our own initiative about the possible use of nuclear weapons by Russia,” he said, but it was the immediate response to the irresponsible statements by the leaders of the Western world.

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With tensions brewing up between Russia and the US, the recent claims by Konstantin Vorontsov, a senior official in Russia’s Foreign Ministry about a possible deployment of US satellites in Ukraine to assist and abet Kyiv, added fuel to the fire. Putin further added that this illegitimate deployment ‘could be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike.

In a meeting of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, Vorontsov remarked “We are talking about the use by the United States and its allies of civilian infrastructure components in space, including commercial ones, in armed conflicts.”

Elon Musk’s ‘SpaceX in Ukraine War

“We would like to emphasize the extremely dangerous trend that goes beyond the harmless use of space technologies, which clearly manifested itself in the course of events in Ukraine,” Mr Vorontsov, who is deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, didn’t name any company, but Elon Musk’s recent pledge that his company SpaceX would continue to fund access for the Ukrainian government to its Starlink satellite-internet system, was the veiled target.

American satellite operators such as Viasat Inc., Maxar Technologies Inc. and Planet Labs PBC have contracts to provide services to different U.S. national security agencies. Possibly these were also on the radar of Russia, but they did not respond immediately.  

Mr Vorontsov made similar remarks in September, at a U.N. meeting and stressed reducing space threats – indirect involvement of non-military satellites in military conflicts.

The US came back with a terse statement – senior White House official John Kirby said any attack on U.S. infrastructure “will be met with an appropriate response in an appropriate way.” He further added “We are going to continue to pursue all means to expose, deter and hold Russia accountable for any such attack should that occur.”

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When asked whether Russia has the capabilities to conduct such an attack, Mr Kirby quipped, “You can look at the public record yourself and see that the Russians have been trying to pursue anti-satellite technology and capabilities.”

Meanwhile ‘Starlink’ has emerged as an important device for the Ukrainian military, keeping troops connected on the front lines of the war where they lack in regular connectivity services. ‘Starlink’s’ capability has been hailed by Ukrainian officials with high praise of words, pointing to instances where ‘Starlink’ was able to provide connections after cruise-missile attacks damaged their infrastructure, but have at times been cagey of ‘Elon Musk’.

Elon Musk’s tweets creates controversy and suspicion

Besides, getting into controversy, ‘Elon Musk has become an eyesore to Russia with his recent statements. In a tweet, he claimed that Crimea had been part of Russia since 1783 until 1954 when Moscow transferred the peninsula to the Ukrainian Soviet republic before illegally annexing it in 2014.

He further annoyed some Ukrainians by tweeting that victory in a total war with Russia was unlikely because Russia had more than three times Ukraine’s population, before saying his company would continue to pay for the Starlink service.

Adding fuel to the debate, Ian Bremmer, the founder of political-risk consulting firm Eurasia Group, wrote in a newsletter that Mr Musk confided to him that he had spoken directly with Mr Putin, saying that the Russian leader asked for several commitments from Ukraine to end the war, including that Kyiv acknowledges Russian sovereignty of Crimea and its annexation of four Ukrainian regions.

Mr Musk tweeted that he had spoken with Mr Putin only once, 18 months ago, to discuss space-related issues.

Pentagon hiring Musk’s SpaceX satellites

Needless to mention, many Pentagon agencies have placed orders to use Mr Musk’s SpaceX satellite capabilities despite a recent dispute between the two sides over the funding of satellite-based internet services for Ukraine.

Mr Vorontsov’s comments about taking action against U.S. satellites referred to physical strikes or disabling them through cyber-attacks are yet to be surmised, but Elon Musk’s earlier statements if co-related where he pointed out that ‘SpaceX’ has faced Russian attempts to disrupt ‘Starlink’, which permits users with a company terminal to access internet connections via a growing fleet of satellites in orbit relatively close to Earth, we have the possible indications.

In a tweet earlier this month, ‘Musk’ said Starlink had come under “relentless jamming attacks.”

Now the moot question is where are we heading for? With more and more state actors joining the show, are we heading for a prolonged skirmish or we can see a ray of light for an end to the Ukrainian conflict? With dramatic changes in geopolitics in recent times, the world order should determine the dynamics and course of this imbroglio without further harm to civilian society.

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