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Russia threatens to target US spy satellites made by SpaceX

by Chris York March 20, 2024 6:02 PM 2 min read
The SpaceX logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Russia said on March 20 that U.S. spy satellites launched in collaboration with private companies such as SpaceX would be a "legitimate target for retaliatory measures, including military ones.”

Reuters reported earlier in March that Elon Musk’s SpaceX was working with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), a U.S. intelligence agency, to build a network of hundreds of spy satellites under a classified $1.8 billion contract.

“We are aware of Washington's efforts to attract the private sector to serve its military space ambitions,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, Reuters reported.

These networks "become a legitimate target for retaliatory measures, including military ones," Zakharova told reporters.

SpaceX has repeatedly found itself at the forefront of geopolitical wrangling in recent years, particularly the use of its Starlink internet system during Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Last month, it was reported that Russian forces had begun to use Starlink terminals, manufactured by SpaceX, more actively on the front line.

SpaceX founder Elon Musk denied that the company has ever sold or supplied the equipment to the Russian military.

Earlier this month, two U.S. Democrats in Congress opened an investigation into SpaceX, demanding information on Russia's alleged usage of the Starlink satellite internet terminal.

Ukraine's Digital Transformation Minister Mykhailo Fedorov revealed in late February that Ukraine is "working with SpaceX" to find a solution to disable Russia's use of Starlink satellite terminals in occupied territories of Ukraine.

Musk himself was originally hailed a hero in Ukraine for providing Starlink free in Ukraine after the launch of the full-scale invasion but has since incensed many with his commentary on the war.

Last month he said he believed that Russian President Vladimir Putin could not lose in the war and opposed the approval of assistance to Ukraine.

Russian military uses Starlink inside Ukraine, intelligence confirms
Russia has Starlink terminals and is increasingly using them on the front line in Ukraine, Ukrainian military intelligence confirmed on Feb. 11.
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8:28 PM

FT: Russia may be gearing up for large-scale offensive against Ukraine.

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.
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