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IPFS News Link • Communications

Russian official says civilian satellites may be "legitimate" military target

• https://arstechnica.com by JON BRODKIN

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.

The quote is from an unofficial English translation of the statement on September 12 by Konstantin Vorontsov, head of the Russian delegation to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) working group. The translation is provided with other countries' statements from the session on the UNODA's meeting website.

Vorontsov said:

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.