Russia threatens to target Western commercial satellites like Elon Musk’s Starlink


Russian foreign ministry spokesman Konstantin Vorontsov this week threatened to target Western commercial satellites, like Telsa CEO Elon Musk’s Starlink, during a U.N. General Assembly meeting.

Musk’s space exploration program, SpaceX, has donated roughly 20,000 Starlink satellites, for Kyiv’s use since Russia invaded Ukraine, at a cost that is expected to exceed $100 million by the end of the year. 

The satellites have proven vital for Ukraine’s troop communication on the ground and along the front lines, but their assistance to Kyiv in its battlefield successes have become a sore point in Russia.

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Vorontsov did not directly mention Starlink but in a Wednesday statement said, “We would like to specifically stress an extremely dangerous trend that goes beyond the harmless use of outer space technologies and has become apparent during the latest developments in Ukraine.” 

“Namely, the use by the United States and its allies of civilian, including commercial, infrastructure elements in outer space for military purposes,” he added, noting that satellite use “constitute[s] indirect participation” in the war. “Quasi-civilian infrastructure may become a legitimate target for retaliation.” 

Frustration has reportedly mounted in Moscow and within Russia’s own ranks over its inability to maintain command and control as Ukrainian forces continue to make battlefield advances.

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Vorontsov argued that commercial satellites used to benefit Ukraine in the war violates The Outer Space Treaty and warned it could start a”full-fledged arms race in outer space.”

The spokesman’s comments come as speculation surfaced last week that SpaceX might cut off funding for Ukraine’s satellites if the Department of Defense did not agree to foot the bill.

However, on Monday, Musk cleared the air and said in a tweet that he had already assured Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov that SpaceX “would not off Starlink even if [the Department of Defense] refused to provide funding” – a scenario which appears likely as Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said last week that commercial decisions were up to individual companies.

“What an individual company may or may not do in any particular corner of the world of course is incumbent on that company to decide and do,” he told reporters.

Fox News Digital could not immediately reach SpaceX for comment on Russia’s threats.

Russian foreign ministry spokesman Konstantin Vorontsov threatened that Russia could target western commercial satellites like Elon Musk’s Starlinks for assisting Ukraine.

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