Russia said it could target commercial satellites if they are used to help Ukraine, the latest in a string of threats aimed at curtailing the military aid sent by the U.S. and other countries, while both NATO and the Kremlin conducted nuclear drills.
Konstantin Vorontsov, an official in Moscow’s foreign ministry, told Russian state news agency TASS that if Western satellites are used to aid Kyiv, then they “may be a legitimate target for a retaliation strike.”
Though Mr. Vorontsov didn’t name any company, Elon Musk recently pledged that his company SpaceX would continue to fund access for the Ukrainian military to its Starlink satellite internet system. SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Wednesday, both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Russia conducted annual drills of their nuclear forces. Russian President Vladimir Putin watched as a Yars land-based intercontinental ballistic missile was test-fired from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a spaceport in the country’s northern Arkhangelsk region, while a Russian nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea launched a Sineva ICBM at the Kura firing range on the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, according to the Kremlin. A Tupolev Tu-95MS long-range aircraft was also used in the missions, carrying out launches of air-based cruise missiles, the Kremlin said.
Mr. Putin has warned that the Kremlin would consider all the weapons in its arsenal to defend what it sees as its own territory, including occupied parts of Ukraine that he moved to annex last month. The U.S. has said it has seen no evidence that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon.