Russia Is not Pleased Ukraine is Utilizing Elon Musk’s Satellites


Few individuals have been desirous about a struggle in Ukraine when SpaceX started launching its constellation of Starlink satellites into house in 2019. The Starlink fleet, which now numbers greater than 2,300, is designed to offer broadband connection to underserved components of the world. Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine final February, the Ukrainian military has been making use of the satellites for battlefield communications.

As Ars Technica, Reuters, and others report, this has left the Russians none-too-pleased. In a press release on Oct. 26, Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of Russia’s overseas ministry issued a press release, making a barely-veiled risk to shoot the satellites down if their navy use continues.

“Quasi-civilian infrastructure might develop into a authentic goal for retaliation,” Vorontsov stated, condemning what he referred to as “an especially harmful development that goes past the innocent use of outer house applied sciences.”

There’s a sure disingenuousness in Vorontsov’s remarks, because the U.S. Division of Protection has lengthy made use of economic satellites to hold navy communications, which Russia actually is aware of. However direct involvement in a Russian floor struggle is a unique matter—at the very least within the eyes of the Kremlin.

The dangerous information: Russia actually has the power to shoot down a satellite tv for pc, because it demonstrated as just lately as final November, when it launched a missile from the bottom at one in all its personal satellites, blasting it into what NASA estimated to be 1,500 items.

The higher information: such a single-strike assault would have little affect on as distributed a community as Starlink, and even Russia doesn’t faux it will launch hundreds of missiles to carry the entire constellation down.

This story initially appeared in TIME Area, our weekly publication overlaying all issues house. You may enroll right here.

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Write to Jeffrey Kluger at [email protected].

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