Ρώσος διπλωμάτης δήλωσε ότι οι πολιτικοί δορυφόροι θα μπορούσαν να είναι κανονικοί στρατιωτικοί στόχοι. Η δήλωση του φαίνεται να αναφέρεται στο Starlink που παρέχει ευρυζωνική πρόσβαση στην Ουκρανία.
Civilian satellites "may become a military target for retaliation," a Russian official told the United Nations' open-ended working group on reducing space threats.
The quote comes from a unofficial English translation of the statement by Konstantin Vorontsov, head of the Russian delegation to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA) working group. The event took place on September 12.
We would like to highlight an extremely dangerous trend that goes beyond the harmless use of space technologies and has become evident during the events in Ukraine. That is, the use by the United States and its allies of civilian assets, including commercial infrastructure in space for military purposes. It seems that our colleagues do not realize that such actions actually constitute indirect involvement in military conflicts. Civilian infrastructure may become a legitimate target of retaliation.
Το τμήμα Starlink της SpaceX έστειλε δορυφορικούς τερματικούς σταθμούς στην Ουκρανία, όταν μετά την εισβολή της Ρωσίας στη χώρα διακόπηκαν τα ευρυζωνικά δίκτυα, με τις ΗΠΑ να παρέχουν χρηματοδότηση στην προσπάθεια. Η δορυφορική πρόσβαση στο Διαδίκτυο είναι χρήσιμη στις στρατιωτικές επιχειρήσεις της Ουκρανίας κατά των ρωσικών δυνάμεων.
Vorontsov's statement went on to argue that the use of civilian satellites may violate the Outer Space Treaty:
The actions of Western countries needlessly jeopardize the viability of peaceful space activities, as well as numerous social and economic processes on Earth that affect the well-being of people, especially in developing countries. At the very least, this provocative use of civilian satellites is questionable under the Outer Space Treaty, which provides for the exclusively peaceful use of outer space, and should be strongly condemned by the international community.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk warned in March that there was a "high" chance that Russia would attack Ukraine's Starlink equipment, although he was referring to user terminals on the ground, not satellites in space. A Russian cyberattack was able to temporarily disrupt the satellite service provided by Viasat when the war began.
On the other hand, Russia conducted an anti-satellite missile test in November 2021. Afterwards, US officials condemned the act of shooting down the two-ton satellite at an altitude below 500 km, which is high enough for the debris to remain in orbit at least for the next five to 10 years, but they can threaten other satellites, including the International Space Station.
A Space.com article today about Vorontsov's remark states that “Russia's statement to the UN OEWG on space threats comes just one day after two more nations, Germany and Japan, pledged not to conduct destructive anti-satellite tests ( ASAT), trying to reduce space junk after a Russian test in November 2021 drew widespread international condemnation. Russia has promised nothing."
The Space.com article states that Starlink was not the only provider of satellites in the Russia-Ukraine war.
"In addition to Starlink, other commercial satellite companies such as Planet, Maxar and BlackSky provide critical information by taking aerial photos of the armed conflict and sharing them openly, playing an unexpectedly important role throughout the Russian invasion," he says the article.