The tensions between Russia and Ukraine are not taking a toll. The situation is already escalating every day, and now new speculations are making the headlines.
There are concerns raised by a senior Russian official that the Ukraine government is taking help from the US by getting data from western commercial satellites. The official said that there’s a possibility that Russia can shoot down these commercial satellites that are helping Ukraine.
However, there was no immediate statement released by the United States about the satellites. Even the commercial satellite providers have yet to respond to this warning issued by Moscow.
If Russia actually does what it says, there’s a threat that this eight-month-old conflict will escalate to a higher level. This provocative act could lead to a direct tussle between the West and Russia.
A Russian foreign minister, Konstantin Vorontsov, said that they condemn the use of western satellites and this effort to aid Ukraine was a dangerous trend. He further added, “the quasi-civilian infrastructure can become a legitimate target during a retaliatory strike, and the West’s use of these commercial satellites to support Ukraine was “provocative.”
He clarified further that the components Moscow is talking about include the involvement of civilian space infrastructure that is being used by the US and its allies in armed conflicts.
These statements by Vorontsov become highly sensitive as Russian space defense capabilities are also offensive, the same as those of the US and China. Therefore, any lousy action or reaction to this warning can result in a lethal battle.
Furthermore, private or commercial satellite companies are also on the radar of this issue. Although the address did not include the names of any specific commercial satellite company, such cautions become concerns for companies like SpaceX. It’s because Elon Musk has cleared the fog recently by sticking to providing internet service in Ukraine through its Starlink satellite.
Moreover, this was not the first instance when Moscow raised this issue of the West interfering in matters of their national interests. They accused the US of being directly involved in the conflict in August. Their accusation came after a statement from Vadym Skibitsky to the Telegraph newspaper where he told them that in Kyiv, they were using High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers (HIMARS), a US-supplied weapons system.
With the use of HIMARS, they could get access to high-level satellite imagery and real-time information about the Russian military. Now, this issue tangles down further when satellite images of the conflict areas are captured by US commercial satellites and shared on social media like Twitter.
The claim of Russian officials receives needed gravity when they say that these open-source images are being used by the intelligence experts working on finding the potential vulnerabilities in the Russian military.
Now it’s the response that the US or any commercial satellite provider presents in front of the world that will decide the momentum of this issue.