back to article Russia says Starlink satellites could become military targets

Russia has warned the United Nations that commercial space systems – like Starlink – risk becoming legitimate military targets if they continue to be used in places like Ukraine.  Speaking at a meeting of the UN's committee on disarmament and international security, Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy head of Russia's delegation, …

  1. Ideasource

    Seems reasonable and fair

    If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, it is fair and proper to classify it as a military Target.

    You don't get to join a war and still claim of civilian status.

    I mean you can but it's about as believable as being told that " it's just rain"while by someone who is actively urinating on your backside.

    I think it's a little much to expect anyone to deny all of obvious reality, just because creative words were made and applauded by others.

    1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

      If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

      … it is fair and proper to classify it as a military Target.

      Does that include dual-use (i.e. military and civilian) assets? Would it be fair and proper to target, say, a water purification plant if it provides potable water to both combatants and non-combatants?

      1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

        Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

        History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets. It's only very recently, like sometime in the 1970s to 1980s, that humanitarianism became a thing in war. Might even be later than that.

        Mind you, my post should not be construed to indicate support for such things. For as long as man has fielded a military, civilians have been at the mercy of the military. And, historically speaking, civilians have taken it in the shorts from their own military, not just enemy forces.

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

          It’s only very recently, like sometime in the 1970s to 1980s, that humanitarianism became a thing in war.

          Historically, yes, they would have been legitimate targets (e.g. Article 15 of the Lieber Code from 1863), but I’d argue that humanitarianism in wartime began soon after that, e.g. with Henry Dunant and the First Geneva Convention (of 1864, based on Dunant’s experience of the aftermath of the battle of Solferino in 1859), and certainly enhanced in the subsequent Geneva Conventions through 1949 (particularly in the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding non-combatants).

          As early as the second treaty of the Hague Convention of 1899 (which was a major influence on the Fourth Geneva Convention), articles 23 and 25 stated the following:

          23. Besides the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially prohibited:— […] To destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.

          25. The attack or bombardment of towns, villages, habitations or buildings which are not defended, is prohibited.

          Granted, the phrase “imperatively demanded by the necessities of war” was not further defined, so a belligerent state could arguably have applied that to just about any situation, but targeting an undefended water purification plant would have been clearly forbidden by article 25 since the days of the Boer War.

          1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

            Re: History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

            Can't argue the history as I've not studied the history of war rules enough to do so, but rules go out the window when you're being shot at. Look at the Russian/Ukraine war. The Russkies certainly haven't been limiting themselves to military targets. No idea if the Ukrainians are, but then the war's being waged in their yard right now. If the Ukrainians do run the Russians back to Russia, it's very possible that they'll invade Russia for revenge attacks.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

              No idea if the Ukrainians are, but then the war's being waged in their yard right now. If the Ukrainians do run the Russians back to Russia, it's very possible that they'll invade Russia for revenge attacks.

              This is a problem with lawfare and propaganda. You say you have no idea, but you could easily find an idea. The 'war' has been waged in Ukraine's back yard since 2014. So civil unrest and insurrection that resulted in Ukraine's government being replaced by force. Then the consequences of that, with rioting and civil disobedience spiralling into outright armed conflict.

              There were some fascinating videos from early on when chanting crowds outside police stations got triggered and went from chanting to forcing their way into those buildings and looting their armories. Law enforcement knows these dangers with crowd psychology. Protests escalated to incidents like protesters being herded into a building in Odessa, then the building eventually being set on fire. And then thiings escalated again, with the DPR/LPR's declaration of autonomy/independence. That resulted in the remodelling of Donetsk Airport, and other large parts of Donestk city after it's been shelled off and on for 8 years.

              Sadly, 'war crimes' have been happening in Ukraine for years, just as they have been in other parts of the world.

              1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge
                Mushroom

                Re: History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

                Perhaps, but there's no way any one person can know it all. My only knowledge of Ukrainian-specific problems started with this silly war. Before this war, Ukraine was a former province of the USSR, and I didn't need to know more. Not interested in a small country half a world away.

                And now, I'd just like to see this thing end before Putin gets it into his head to start launching nukes. The problem is, if Putin launches a single missile, the US automatic response system is liable to assume we're being attacked and launch it all, after which everyone else with nukes will do the same. With some 12,000+ warheads, we'll be gone and any other spacefaring cultures will just find a lifeless rock.

                Ah well, if they all do get launched at least it'll be over quick.

                1. Lon24 Silver badge

                  Re: History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

                  I hope the current detection systems can tell the difference from a single and multiple missile attack. Those analysts who think Putin might do it also assume it will be an edge weapon, just a bit nuclear, delivered in a non-ICBM vehicle and possibly false-flagged ('cos the point is the Ruskies want to win or, at least, not lose. You can't do that by triggering a MAD response and hence not survive).

                  The objective is to both have a strategic hit and more importantly cause confusion and division by Ukraine and its allies. It's obvious that the US is clearly signalling a non-nuclear but escalatory response. Which is difficult when you can't say what it is and the Ruskies may believe its a bluff anyway.

                  1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                    Re: History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

                    It's obvious that the US is clearly signalling a non-nuclear but escalatory response. Which is difficult when you can't say what it is and the Ruskies may believe its a bluff anyway.

                    The US may have been publicly ambiguous - but privately more specific with Moscow. Because it's clear that generalised deterrence failed in the run-up to the invasion of Ukraine. Telling Putin that we'd respond strongly and that the war would be a disaster for Russia weren't apparently enough for him. So the non-nuclear responses to a tactical nuclear could be two-fold. Firstly military. We might sink the Black Sea fleet, launch limited attacks on Russia's anti-air and/or artillery systems in Ukraine - or just give Ukraine loads of weapson so they can do so themselves. ATACAMS (300km range rockets for their existing Western MLRS) and/or accurate long-range cruise missiles.

                    Option 2, and I think it would be both is more sanctions. At the moment we've mostly imposed sanctions on our own trade with Russia and been pretty light with the secondary sanctions. After a first nuclear use I imagine we'd sanction most trade with Russia and any organisation that did it, whether in our own countries or not. Thus forcing China and India to choose between trading with us or Russia. We've not done that so far, because we didn't want to piss them off, but once the nuclear threshold is crossed I suspect India would join us in sanctioning Russia and even China might.

                2. andy gibson

                  Re: History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

                  "Not interested in a small country half a world away."

                  Yet interested enough to comment at least twice.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

                Indeed the war has been going on since 2014. Your summary does however airbrush over Russia's involvement - Russia caused the separatist movements in Crimea and Donbas (according to Igor Ghirkin [FSB] who claimed to be largely responsible for it), with Russian troops crossing the border and fighting without insignia (if you don't believe Ghirkin, this is also visible in obituaries of Russian soldiers of late).

        2. aurizon

          Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

          Russia lacks the logistic to deal with 50,000 'flies in the sky'. Each fly travels at orbital speed and would require one rocket to hit(if 100% hit rate ---I doubt this too). So this is Russian puffery. They lack the national resources and targeting to build 1-2 missiles for each satellite. Starlink can launch new ones faster than Russia can down them. Even their earth based lasers are ineffective. Signal jamming/swamping is also unlikely for this frequency agile swarm. Russia is cooked - it is a matter of time.

      2. Ideasource

        Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

        Fair? yes.

        What is fair is often times quite disgusting, isn't it?

        But something can be fair and at the same time socially repugnant.

        If You want to discuss morality well that's a completely different matter altogether .

        One already buried in thousands of years of unresolved philosophy.

        1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

          But something can be fair and at the same time socially repugnant.

          For proponents of the “eye for an eye” theory of moral relations, they could be.

          If You want to discuss morality well that's a completely different matter altogether .

          Discussing what is fair is discussing morality.

          1. Ideasource

            Re: But something can be fair and at the same time socially repugnant.

            Morality is a personal bias sometimes shared with others.

            Has nothing to do with being fair.

            Being fair is putting aside your personal morality and letting things play out with good sportsmanship.

            To be anything even approaching fair, objective mindset is essential.

            Morality is a multi-layered subjective construct that varies from individual to individual. Gaslight a nation, congratulations you get to call your campaigned dilusion "morality"

            Nothing fair in morality. Morality is what people use to give themselves permission to adopt informationally unfair perspectives. It's used to raise a preferred artificiality above directly experienced reality.

            Fabrications of convenience to one or more people's desires to spite reality.

            To be f

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

        arguably, ANYTHING is dual-purpose. That is, when 'they' use it, but now when 'we' use it. Either way, Russian whining will be ignored, I hope. As always, they whine in public while working double-hard to do exactly what they accuse the West of doing.

      4. Mikerahl

        Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

        If a country engages in war, proxy or otherwise, everything it owns is a legitimate target. Meaning all civilian and military infrastructure. The only way to avoid that is to not engage in the conflict. So yes, since the US and Europe have chosen to arm Ukraine, train their soldiers and get involved in the conflict (beyond humanitarian aid), all their civilian infrastructure is a perfectly reasonable target for the Russian military. As it would be equally valid for NATO, should it decide to, to completely flatten Moscow, civilian and military assets alike. The concept of "war crimes" is absurd. Civilian infrastructure is used to fund and provide resources for the military effort, it absolutely should be targeted and destroyed completely. Terror is a perfectly reasonable approach to war.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

          Perhaps Russia should not invade a neighbouring country.

          People are standing up to a playground bully.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

          If a country engages in war, proxy or otherwise, everything it owns is a legitimate target.

          This isn't true. When the Soviet Union was giving MIGs and SAMs to North Vietnam to shoot down US planes that was a proxy war. The US didn't continually publicly whine about it. Even when Soviet crews were actually operating some of those SAMs and flying some of those MIGs there was actually direct conflict between US and Soviet troops, and technically the Soviets were combatants there weren't public threats of retaliation from the US. As far as I remember my history, there weren't even private ones. What was happening was well understood.

          It turns out that newspaper stories from a few years ago were probably true, and the Russian government were giving money to the Taliban to pay out bounties to Taliban fighters for every US soldier killed. Even if it's not true, one of the things that got leaked is that US intelligence believed it to be probable - but government denied the stories at the time to avoid a diplomatic incident. Given it was considered that there was not right to object.

          So it's not like what the West are doing in Ukraine is some new scary bit of military brinkmanship. It's normal, basic government relations. We are supporting our stated political and diplomatic policies in public, as we publicly told Russia we would do before they invaded Ukraine. There is no arms embargo on Ukraine, so we're free to sell or give them as many weapons as they need.

          Russia's normal role in this situation is to suck it up. I mean they have the alternative of imposing economic sanctions on us to pursaude us to stop. Or they can threaten to declare war if we don't. But that threat would be them escalating, as we're operating in a well understood area of international relations that Russia have used equally and repeatedly themselves.

          If we've got special forces in Ukraine, which is possible, but I suspect unlikely (specialist training will probably be done in Poland) that could be embarrasing for us. And would break the rules. But handing over weapons and passing on intelligence and giving military advice is just normal. The Soviets passed satellite intelligence (and intel from their spy ships) on the British fleet to Argentina during the Falklands war for example.

          Maybe Russia's problem is that they can't use Starlink? It turns out that a bunch of Russian weapons don't use Glonass, but use the US civilian GPS system. So Russia hasn't threatened to blow that up, even though Ukraine's weapons also use it - though a lot of the Western kit they've been given also uses the military encrypted side of it too. So maybe Russia's pitch is to be allowed to use Starlink too?

          1. Zolko Silver badge

            Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

            as we publicly told Russia we would do before they invaded Ukraine

            and Russia said publicly they wouldn't tolerate that Ukraine be part of NATO. So why are YOU whining ?

            1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

              Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

              Russia had already broken its treaty with Ukraine when the latter started to seek NATO membership. That treaty had guaranteed Russia wouldn't violate Ukraine's territory in return for the Soviet era nuclear weapons on that territory being given to them. Given Russia's breaking of that treaty, any whining is Russia's alone - the Ukrainians can hardly be blamed for seeking NATO membership after Crimea was invaded and Russian forces propped up a deeply unpopular separatist clique in the Donetsk region.

              If you'd ever been to Russia, and experienced the incredible level of racism and expansionist rhetoric in the media there, then I suspect you'd also have an understanding of why Russia's neighbours distrust her so much. It's a deeply corrupt authoritarian state where entire institutions have been subverted to achieve the aggrandisement of one man.

            2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

              and Russia said publicly they wouldn't tolerate that Ukraine be part of NATO. So why are YOU whining ?

              Zolko,

              Ukraine wasn't about to join NATO. France and Germany (amongst others) wouldn't let them. So Russia had no reason to fear that they'd be joining in the immediate future.

              However as you say Russia did complain about this. And Ukraine was willing to enter into negotiations to remain neutral back in January. I believe neutrality is still in Ukaine's constitution for example, it was when Russia first invaded in 2014. And could always be put back if they've changed it since - I'm too lazy to check.

              But as it turned out neutrality wasn't all Russia wanted. They also wanted all NATO troops removed from every country that joined NATO since 1991. I don't know if that means all Polish troops would have to leave Poland, or if Poland would in fact have to leave NATO, because the Russia proposals didn't actually make much sense. Almost as if they'd decided to have the war anyway, and the negotiations were a pisspoorly disguised attempt to create a pretext. As in fact turned out to be the case.

              But also there's a fundamental difference here. It is not legal under international law to invade another state to stop them joining a military alliance you don't approve of. Every state has the right to join what international organisations it likes. Although in reality upsetting your neighbours (particularly aggressive ones like Russia), might not be the greatest idea. However as it turns out Russia proved that even that was just a pretext and the real reason for invading Ukraine was straight imperialism, hence annexing large chunks of it in the hopes of keeping them forever. After failing to conquer the whole country first.

              Whereas defending a sovereign state from invasion is specifically allowed under international law. Had we wanted to risk a nuclear war, we could have joined Ukraine as co-belligerents under our obligations under the UN charter and that war would be completely legal. We've chose the halfway house of arming Ukraine and giving them economic and intelligence support, so they can defeat Russia without us. Which they seem to be doing rather well.

        3. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

          If a country engages in war, proxy or otherwise, everything it owns is a legitimate target

          "target " for whom ? For example, is a gaz pipeline built, owned and operated by Russia towards Germany a legitimate target for US mailitary blow-ups when the US is pretending not to be part of the war between Russia and Ukraine ? Or is that state-terrorism then ? Or is that an admission that the US is indeed at war with Russia ?

          1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

            Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

            If you're referring to Nord Stream, that would be two pipelines largely funded by Germany and headquartered in Switzerland.

      5. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

        Starlink seems to be an integral part of Ukraine's military apparatus and command and control structure. I think it's therefore a legitimate military target, even though it's a civilian internet constellation.

        I initially thought Starlink was used to restore internet access to Ukrainians in the cities after the Russians destroyed most of the network infrastructure. I didn't phantom it was being used to wage war much less it being a vital part of Ukraine's military successes.

      6. Aitor 1

        Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

        Legal answer is yes it is legal.

        The attack on Sebastopol would have been impossible without Starlink and the coordination of the war requires Starlink.

        Therefore they are legal and reasonable targets.

        Now, destroying satellites is terrible and that should be banned, as it could trigger Kessler syndrome.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

          Legal answer is yes it is legal.

          The attack on Sebastopol would have been impossible without Starlink and the coordination of the war requires Starlink.

          Therefore they are legal and reasonable targets.

          I don't know why Aitor 1 has got all downvotes here.

          As I understand international law, this would be correct. The Kerch Bridge is the main supply route for all Russia's troops in Crimea, Kherson and probably also Zhaporizhzhia. Hence even though it's civillian infrastructure, it's also a legitimate military target.

          A hospital only remains protected under international law if there are no troops using it as a fighting or other military position. They are allowed to send their wounded there, but not to use it for other purposes. The same is true for ambulances and hospital ships.

          So while it's true that Starlink was designed for civillian use, it is being explicitly used for military purposes by Ukranian forces and Starlink both know and faclititate that. So the only thing that would make it an ilegitimate target is the rules on space.

          However my quick look at the Outer Space Treaty Link to UN says that only nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction are banned from space. Not normal weapons.

          Although it also says that "States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies." So that could be said to preclude blowing up satellites? Even then Starlink would be a legitimate target under the laws of war, even if the war itself is undeniably illegal. Even though it might be illegal to prosecute the target, due to other treaties that the Russians have signed.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

            "As I understand international law"

            You don't. Try not getting your interpretations direct from the Kremlin.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, …

              In what way am I wrong then?

              Also, read my post. The bit where I said that it would be a legal target in an undeniably illegal war ought to be a clue as to my thoughts on the matter.

    2. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Seems reasonable and fair

      Trouble is.... how do you take out the 3000+ starlink satellites already in orbit knowing that starlink can lob another 50 into orbit almost every week?

      And what about the big geo-stationary satellites used for communication? you aiming for those too?

      I suspect russia is not really worried about ukraine getting the starlink signals , but residents of russia getting the starlink signals and beginning to see exactly what their countries 'special operation' is all about.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems reasonable and fair

        Starlink can lob another 50 into orbit almost every week and lose most of them because the orbit is littered with bits of deceased satellites, a problem that will then increase exponentially. Yeah. Right on. FTFY.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: Seems reasonable and fair

          To quote someone, space is big, really big. It will take a hell of a lot of 'deceased satellites' to cause any significant problem. And if it ever did get to that point Russia would be impacted too.

          It's very smart going for LEO -- yes I know he did it for the latency. But once they lose power these satellites will begin to deorbit, so it is self-cleaning. And every time there is a CME from the sun that will help to clear the lower areas of space.

          Nothing to see here. Move on.

      2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Seems reasonable and fair

        The only hope of putting a dent in Starlink, which has 3000 of it's 30,000 satellites already up, is using directed energy weapons. And so far as anyone knows, no power has DEW's mature enough to do that.

        Russia and China's biggest beef with Starlink is it potentially allows their citizens to get around there censor filters.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems reasonable and fair

        Russians - that is those Russians, who WANT to see exactly what the SMO is about, they already know (and I don't think that's surprised them much). I think this 'story' is just another Russian attempt to muddle waters (red herring). They keep throwing this shit around, every week something new. Dirty bomb not good enough? How about us-modified mosquitos? I'm not making this shit up, they do, and it's not just their propagandists, it's their officials, speaking in public.

    3. DS999 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Seems reasonable and fair

      So they can shoot down a DBS satellite if Ukrainians are watching TV and seeing news about Russian war crimes? Even if the DBS operator isn't doing anything to 'support' the war effort, or even have any way of knowing if people in Ukraine are watching broadcasts coming from their satellite?

    4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Seems reasonable and fair

      If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, it is fair and proper to classify it as a military Target.

      You don't get to join a war and still claim of civilian status.

      Yup, that seems to be the problem. And not really seen any decent legal analysis. Other targets seem more clear-cut, ie shoot down a nation's military stuff, or probably even a sovereign asset and that would seem to be a potential act of war. Hit something that's civilian, and it seems to be down to the civil courts and non-kinetic diplomacy.

      But the civil stuff that's been happening around this conflict seems far less clear cut, ie sanctions are effectively collective punishment, which is a crime. The Bbc is still wibbling about evacuations from Kherson being a 'war crime', even though evacuating civilians from a conflict zone seems like a really good idea to me. There may be some precedents, eg forced resettlements in places like Israel, but that's where the idea of the UN falls apart.

      One good thing that may come out of this conflict is perhaps clarity at the international level about when some of these activities actually do constitute war crimes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems reasonable and fair

        Theoretically, the legal bar is quite high for dual use. Article 53 of the 4th Geneva Convention says that destruction "is prohibited, except where such destruction is rendered absolutely necessary by military operations."

        Not "desirable", not "necessary", but "absolutely necessary". However, the Russian targeting of Ukrainian civilian heating and electricity generation infrastructure is already a more clear-cut example of a breach than Starlink would be.

        In the case of deportation, Article 49 is pretty clear... forced deportation is not allowed. Evacuation is allowed (but not forced) with a right of return. Of course Russia tries to get the UN to tie itself in legal knots because they have annexed the territory, so according to them it is no longer "occupied", it is Russia. But that would never really get far in an international court.

        It's all academic really... Russia has a massive catalogue of war crimes documented already, many truly egregious, committed by all levels of the Russian state. But with its permanent UNSC seat, and the inability to physically access the perpetrators, they can continue to commit war crimes at will. If Russia attacked a non-military satellite, from a legal POV very little would change, unfortunately. Probably the only thing stopping them is the contamination of LEO, and the 2021 anti sat test is a bit of a clue how much they care about that.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Seems reasonable and fair

          Not "desirable", not "necessary", but "absolutely necessary". However, the Russian targeting of Ukrainian civilian heating and electricity generation infrastructure is already a more clear-cut example of a breach than Starlink would be.

          But is it? I've linked this before-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphite_bomb

          The graphite bomb was first used against Iraq in the Gulf War (1990–1991), knocking out 85% of the electrical supply. Similarly, the BLU-114/B "Soft-Bomb" graphite bomb was used by NATO against Serbia in May 1999, disabling 70% of that country's power grid. After initial success in disabling Serbian electric power systems, the electric supply was restored in less than 24 hours. The BLU-114/B was again used a few days later to counter Serbian efforts to restore damage caused by the initial attack. In the later stage of Operation Allied Force, NATO's air forces used conventional bombs and rockets to target power highlines and transformer stations.

          So we can just argue it was absolutely necessary. Or refuse to recognise international courts that might attempt to prosecute for war crimes. Russia could argue it was necessary because Ukraine's got an electrified rail system that it uses to transport heavy equipment. It had targetted railways and rail yards prior to widening the attacks to prevent Ukraine redeploying or reinforcing.

          There's also been hypocrisy around hydrological warfare. The Bbc ran a story a couple of days ago about a fresh water main being 'blown up' and blaming Russia. Ukraine had previously dammed a canal providing fresh water to Crimea. Two wrongs don't make a right. Then there's been the wider problem of economic warfare and sanctions. We've seized assets and property from Russian citizens, some of which has been sold off. So if civilian assets are fair game, why not retaliate against civilian targets that are actively being used in a conflict? Especially when that's becoming ever easier, ie people are assuming Russia would have to use ASAT missiles. Sure, it has those, along with other nations, but it's also been developing DEW (Directed Energy Weaons), just as we have.

          So it's all a bit of a mess. Especially when it comes to actual legal stuff. We have the UN, but that's become rather political. We have international courts that have been listening to disputes like who owes money for gas transiting Ukraine. But there have been claims that those courts are biased and rigged. Maybe they are, maybe they're not, but perception can be reality. If nations can refuse to recognise court jurisdictions or rulings though, what's the point? Justics isn't served, crimes will continue to go unpunished, and that's generally not a good thing for the world in general.

          1. Dave314159ggggdffsdds Silver badge

            Re: Seems reasonable and fair

            If you stop listening to Kremlin propaganda, then your false equivalences will be as obvious to you as they are to us.

        2. Danny 14

          Re: Seems reasonable and fair

          since russia is currebtly killing civilian power grids and water plants I dont think the wankers they give a fuck about conventions.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seems reasonable and fair

          But with its permanent UNSC seat

          They may find that "permanent" becomes "not so much" depending upon their actions.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Seems reasonable and fair

        One good thing that may come out of this conflict is perhaps clarity at the international level about when some of these activities actually do constitute war crimes.

        When Russia accepts defeat, all they did will be considered war crimes. Remember, the winner decides what history will show.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seems reasonable and fair

          It's not so simple. For example, the US lost the Vietnam war after committing war crimes. Yet they're the ones painting themselves as victims around the world in theit Hollywood productions, and those crimes were never prosecuted.

          Similarly, Russia can't lose from an outside invasion. They got thousands of nukes. They might give up, but if they do, fhey will claim victory, and hang MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banners. They've seen how nuclear superpowers don't hace to accept any responsibility for anything.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Seems reasonable and fair

            First, US didn't lose the Vietnam war, they just didn't win it.

            Second, they didn't commit war crimes, they just pacified some commies villages.

            Third, US, the shining beacon of democracy, land of the free, bringer of democracy to whomever they want, can do no wrong. Where have you been the last 80 years?

    5. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: Seems reasonable and fair

      > If an asset is used to support either side of a war effort, it is fair and proper to classify it as a military Target.

      True. e.g. an ammunition plant in a 3rd country selling ammunition to either or both sides could be considered a military target.

      However, doing anything offensive against a target of any sort that is not located in the territory of the warring parties, or that is in international waters and not owned by the warring parties, would be an act of war against the 3rd party in whose territory the target is located in or who owns the target in international waters - which for all intents and purposes is basically what 'space' is, an extension of international waters.

      Therefore if you wish to commit an act of war on a non-warring party, and potentially risk bringing that party into the war against you, or convince that party to supply even better weapons than they have been to your opponent - Tomahawks, ATACMS, LRASMs, JASSM (and Rapid Dragons) and greater numbers of launch platforms, then sure, go ahead, launch attacks against those "legitimate military targets", and see what happens.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Seems reasonable and fair

        I just can't wait for Starlink to declare war on Russia and send its army to invade.

        If Russia destroys a Starlink sattelite in space (aka in a territory not owned by anybody) the US and/or NATO can do squat as Starlink is a private company and the attack didn't happened on US/NATO territory.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Seems reasonable and fair

          Starlink is a US company, therefore a military attack on Starlink property would be an act of war against the USA.

          Space is considered pretty much the same as international waters. Sinking a civilian ship has brought that nation into more than one conflict.

          Now, what exactly the USA would do about that is open to question. Putin probably wouldn't survive it, though.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Seems reasonable and fair

            Are you saying that, should the car of a US citizen be destroyed outside US jurisdiction by a foreign power, that's an act of war against US? If not, then why the destruction of the property of a US company would be an act of war?

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Seems reasonable and fair

              Are you saying that, should the car of a US citizen be destroyed outside US jurisdiction by a foreign power, that's an act of war against US?

              Taking that further. A Ford or Tesla that's been bought via finance from a US entity. Wonder if this is why Toyotas are the technical of choice? Also sovereignty issues may get blurred due to globalisation. Especially when vampire squids get involved in personal finance, and probably financing PMCs. See-

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_Forces

              Set in 2049, the story follows Chris Faulkner as he starts his new job as a junior executive at Shorn Associates, working in their Conflict Investment division where the company supports foreign governments in exchange for a percentage of the country's gross domestic product.

              Much like with 1984, I'm pretty sure some execs saw this as an opportunity, not a warning.

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Seems reasonable and fair

              Probably not, because the car is most likely located on the soil of a different country, so a military attack on the car would be an act of war against whatever country the car was sitting on at the time. If the U.S. citizen was in it, the U.S. might still take it as assassination of their citizen, which is also an act of war, so you have the potential to get a response from two countries. Military attacks on something the other country claims when they're not in your country can be interpreted as acts of war easily. The primary reason that doesn't lead to war is that countries usually don't want to go to that effort for a small attack. The question is not whether destruction of Starlink satellites would be grounds for retaliation; it would. The question is whether the U.S. would bother doing something about it.

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: Seems reasonable and fair

                The question is not whether destruction of Starlink satellites would be grounds for retaliation; it would. The question is whether the U.S. would bother doing something about it.

                Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos. This was a principle obviously created pre-satellites. Whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell. It still holds true, although extended by various conventions and treaties. So semi-simple stuff like breaking up geostationary orbits so slots above territories are kinda controlled by the nations below them. Or at a lower level, the US used to fly U2s over the Soviet Union, even though that was sovereign territory. Then Gary Powers got shot down, and WW3 didn't begin. Just a bit of an arms race with the SR-71 vs newer interceptors and missiles.

                Of course we also launch lots of secret satellites that fly over other countries that are less regulated by treaty or convention. Other than shooting them down would almost certainly lead to retaliation. There have been rumors that Russia may be lasing some satellites over 'their' territory, which may or may not be damaging them. Civil LEOs seem to have become more of a free-for-all with nations approving littering above other nation's territory. There's still some legislation and regulation, but blatant military use of supposedly civilian services puts pressure on those policies. If they're being used to give a side a military (or political) advantage, then obviously they can become targets. And it's not just Russia, but also other countries, eg promoting Starlink in Iran, even though according to Iran's laws, terminals are illegal without official licences.

                1. doublelayer Silver badge

                  Re: Seems reasonable and fair

                  Funnily enough, 13th-century common law has been superseded these days. You don't own the skies above your house. Your country can fly any aircraft they want to over it and you're out of luck. You may also not own the stuff below your house, as there are laws about things such as underground water resources and restrictions on mining. And, to the point, there are treaties about satellites and the use of space, so it doesn't apply there either.

                  You're right about acts of war though. Flying military aircraft over another country's territory without permission wasn't allowed and could have led to war, just as shooting a Starlink or other civilian satellite could. The USSR decided it wasn't worth attacking that time, and the US may make a similar decision if Russia tries it this time. There's a chance they won't, so I wouldn't advocate putting it to the test.

                2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                  Re: Seems reasonable and fair

                  Jellied Eel,

                  This was a principle obviously created pre-satellites. Whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell. It still holds true,

                  This is incorrect. To quote from the UN treaty on Outer Space again:

                  outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;

                  I remember reading about discussions between the US and Soviet governments during the flight of Sputnik about flying over other nations territory in space and how this was setting a nice precedent for US spy satellites that were I believe already being planned.

                  The US knew that flying a U2 over Soviet territory was illegal, hence they couldn't protest when it got shot down.

            3. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Seems reasonable and fair

              Depends on whose car it is and who was in the car when it was destroyed...

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Seems reasonable and fair

            "Starlink is a US company, therefore a military attack on Starlink property would be an act of war against the USA."

            I wonder how many Starbucks or MacDonalds have been destroyed in Ukraine by Russian military attacks?

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Seems reasonable and fair

              The Starlink satellites are located in international space. Buildings on Ukrainian soil are not the same in international law. Not to mention that the restaurants you mention are probably franchised to a local owner so can't be claimed as owned by the U.S. parent organizations anyway. Treaties on causes of war would indicate the destruction of Starlink satellites as an act of war against the US and the destruction of the restaurants as one against Ukraine but not the US. Of course, the US isn't prevented from deciding they're going to take it as one anyway (and if they wanted to join the war and have it be legal, all they have to do is get Ukraine to invite their assistance which would probably be pretty easy).

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Seems reasonable and fair

                Yes, I agree. I was just pointing out, perhaps a bit too subtly and or obtusely, that attacking an American company/property not in America is not necessarily an attack on America. And as you rightly point out, my examples were poorly chosen as they are very likely to be locally owned franchises.

    6. ian 22

      Re: Seems reasonable and fair

      By that reasoning, enemy civilians can also be targets. Farmers producing food that sustains both the military and civilians should be targets, yes? I could provide many similar examples.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Seems reasonable and fair

        probably nothing will happen publicly, depends who is in the car. Muat the same for nerve agent poisoning in salisbury, bothing happened and that was a nerve agent attack.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Seems reasonable and fair

          ...and probably why the UK couldn't wait to send all manner of manpads and other weaponry to Ukraine as very much a return of serve.

    7. Dimmer

      Re: Seems reasonable and fair

      How does the pipeline figure into this?

      I know someone here knows who did it. Be nice and post it for us. You can do it anonymously and nobody will know who you are........

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seems reasonable and fair

      I wouldn't bother the Russian/Ukraine war is like watching Wag the Dog. So much bullshit on both sides. Press not allowed into warzones in Ukraine. Russians not allowed to comment. It's a complete media orientated shitshow.

  2. Craig 2

    Shoot down just 1 US satellite and see what happens... I dare you... I double-dare you motherfucker...

    I'm sure Russia knows that too and this is just more empty posturing for their domestic audience.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Starlink is not US and its statellites are not US property. Just saying. Why do you think Putin isn't threatening US sats?

      1. Tomato42
        Facepalm

        sure, sure, and the trading vessels in II WW under US flags were not US government property...

    2. Def Silver badge

      Shoot down just 1 US satellite and see what happens...

      I can tell you exactly what would happen. The US and UN will condemn the action in the strongest possible terms, maybe call a few ambassadors in for a chat, add a few more individuals to the sanctions list, send a few more missiles to Ukraine, and absolutely nothing else.

      1. Zolko Silver badge

        Shoot down just 1 US satellite and see what happens...

        I can tell you exactly what would happen. The US and UN will condemn the action...

        you're wrong, NOTHING will happen because NOBODY will know why suddenly some satellites begin to malfunction. Also, that would be such an admission of Russian military success that the US empire cannot admit that: they'd rather swallow their pride and send DOUBLE satellites up then admitting that Russia has the technical expertise to blow them out of space.

        1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

          Re: NOBODY will know why suddenly some satellites begin to malfunction

          Dude, seriously?

          You think any launch capable of taking out any satellite won't be noticed? Everybody will know exactly why "suddenly some satellites begin to malfunction".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You do know how nuclear powers work don't you? Why don't you shoot down a Russian jet over Ukraine if you are so tough? You Americans are really dumb and to be quite frankly hilarious. Go back to chucking tea in a harbour you tough mofos.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The Turks shot down Russian jets which were invading their airspace. Twice. Nothing happened.

        The Russians assaulted US forces at Kasham in Syriah and got massacred. Nothing happened other than some complaining from the Russians about the Americans fighting back.

  3. DS999 Silver badge

    Good luck shooting down all the Starlink satellites

    There are too many of them, and the US would no doubt disable every Russian satellite in retaliation (likely without shooting them down and causing debris...I'll bet there are some sort of undisclosed directed energy weapons in orbit)

    Russia figures the west depends on satellites more than they do, so maybe they think they can get away with this with less pain on their side, but if they risk making space unusable for everyone, using a nuke in Europe etc. all that will get them is the direct participation of the US in the war. Which would result in every Russian military position in Ukraine being obliterated within 48 hours and tens of thousands of Russian casualties.

    I guess if Putin wants to start WW III he can go down this path, but he will lose and he will personally become a legitimate military target hunted to the ends of the Earth like Bin Laden was.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or, you know, the orbital drone ships they fly out Vandenburg.

      X-37?

      But I suspect that our responses will be less eye for an eye in space, as eye for a kneecap on the ground, at least initially. Lot of risk of problems or unintended consequences with mucking about with stuff in orbit, and it increases the risk of normalizing attacking non-weaponized space assets.

      If Russia's maritime assets started mysteriously sinking it would have more immediate consequences for Russia's operations and not risk turning LEO into a debris field for decades.

      1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: Or, you know, the orbital drone ships they fly out Vandenburg.

        Yeah, we do have wonder what the X-37 gets up to, and while it might simply be testing out equipment in space, it might also be creeping up on foreign space assets for a look see. It would be cool if it did a 'You Only Live Twice' on something though.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This isn't about starlink

    Though I bet they are soaking up the free attention and press.

    The rest of the world has been quietly supporting Ukraine with intelligence information. While shooting out a few Starlink satellites would play well to the putin loyalists, it's not going to do much to an orbial mesh, and the Russians will be paying more for the missiles than the satellites are worth. Musk will just keep launching them, and the ones that are up there are already out of date.

    So if this isn't about starlink communications, it's probably about commercial radar and optical imaging systems. While the US is probably also providing additional assets from it's military assets under the NRO, the vast footprint of commercial and open source space imagery is probably a major pain for the Russian armies operations. The world can see it internal troop movements, actions in conflict areas, bases and infrastructure. If you look at the combined ground tracks of all the eyes in the sky these days, it amounts to a major inconvenience if you have to operate in the gaps between them.

    And it has plainly been a problem for the Russians when the Ukrainians are warned of and can prepare for any major shifts in troop movements.

    So I suspect that while not wanting to attack US, NATO, and EU military assets directly and risk drawing them into open warfare, that if they take a pot-shot at a satellite it will be a commercial imaging platform in LEO, as the geostationary assets would be more of a problem for a few reasons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This isn't about starlink

      I wonder how Musk will clear out the shrapnel before launching any replacements.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: This isn't about starlink

        I prose launching a series of satellites on orbital tracks that will intercept all that shrapnel and debris; Once launched, they will extend a set of four arms in front of them with cling wrap/bubble/wrap/etc in front of them to capture the debris, and once it's full, the satellite when then deorbit over an ocean.

        We'll call it Operation windshield.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Funnier that a brit company is testing a four armed debris clearing sat right now.

          Sans bubble wrap sadly. Have you considered something biodegradable, stinky jimmy down by the off-license has been doing some amazing things with old newsprint.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This isn't about starlink

          maybe some sort of biodegradable, UV stable PLA might be the answer.

        3. sreynolds Silver badge

          Re: This isn't about starlink

          I propose we launch Musk. Something soft like human flesh causes less damage when impacting with Space debris. Sure NASA may have tried their light weigh aerogels, but for cleaning up after Putin, nothing, in my opinion beats Musk.

          1. TimMaher Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Launch Musk

            The problem with musk is that you can smell it coming.

            There again , in space nobody can smell your musk.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This isn't about starlink

        Boost the orbit slightly and delay the center of the constellation track to shift it away from any debris following the main constellation. Mostly the worry is future encounters with fast moving debris, which don't follow the orbital track. It's a matter of detecting them, plotting a course for the debris and then dodging them over and over.

        A least in LEO most of it would decay in a few years, but shoot something at it hard and fast enough, you may miss or kick up chunks to a higher, longer lasting, orbit. If that has more occupants it could start a much feared and hyped chain reaction leading to massive losses of Satellite assets.

        The ISS is also up there. We like the ISS. Shame if anything were to happen to it.

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: This isn't about starlink

      A family member who will remain nameless recently said that they couldn’t see the problem if all the satellites were destroyed. We had been discussing solar flares etc. and other natural phenomena that could affect them. They said aunty Maude* wouldn’t be able to use her sat nav and Sky tv would have to come over the web - big deal.

      When I explained exactly what relies on satellites in this day and age they became a bit more concerned. I mentioned the issue of one satellite creating a debris cloud that then destroys more satellites and so on. They admitted being very ignorant to the problems we’d face and how reliant we’d become.

      I see the Russian government have yet again made more wild claims without providing any evidence whatsoever to back them up. Amongst today’s unsubstantiated claims is that British Troops are in Ukraine and participated in an attack today.

      It said the move was "in connection with the actions of the Ukrainian armed forces, which were led by British specialists" and that these actions "were directed... against Russian ships that ensured the functioning of the said humanitarian corridor".

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-63439760

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: This isn't about starlink

        Two weeks ago the Russians were claiming that Boris Johnson personally led a commando raid, of UK-trained Ukrainian commandoes who'd all failed their training courses but been send anyway. This was to liberate the Zhaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

        Last week they were claiming that our government aided in blowing up the Kerch bridge. That one's a lot more plausible, though I doubt it's true and their evidence was a laughably shit "leaked document" - that looked worse than the crappiest of think tank publications.

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Stairs are your best defense

    I know Musk is a bit pro-Russia but he's also an uncontrolled impulsive prick. He could autopilot some Russian Teslas into enormous LiPo missiles, and it would be more for giggles than retaliation.

  6. ravenviz Silver badge

    Poo tin is running out of straws to clutch.

  7. Sanguma

    Since the US and the USSR effectively neutralized Earth Orbit with their series of Arms Control treaties and agreements in the 70s and so on ("national technical means of verification", look it up), I would assume that the Russian threats are in fact, in violation of the laws governing neutral powers in wartime (such as the Hague Conventions on Neutral Powers) and since Earth Orbit is not itself a neutral power of any shape, size or description, the developments of that law for territories where everyone has renounced ownership, such as the Antarctic Treaty system.

    Other than that, the Russian threats are almost entirely meaningless except as chest-beating. If they took out a commercial US-owned and -launched satellite, I think even the Chinese would boycott them for the next twenty or more years, for ruining the understanding of the previous decades, and ... I think the US would retaliate in a manner unexpected and quite unpleasant.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The US is currently developing SpinLaunch, which appears to me to be an anti-satellite munitions launcher. It might have some use for some kind of satellite, but the main reason to fund it would be to take out constellations like Sino-link ,where you need small, low launch cost, and very high sustained launch rate.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Missed by that much!

    I don’t think old Pooty-Boy has either the resources or equipment to shoot down a slow moving duck.

    His war is a disaster, all he has left is posturing and snappy uniforms.

    1. Mr. V. Meldrew

      Re: Missed by that much!

      All (Putin) has left is 1000's of grieving family members for their dead relatives, some in hidden shallow graves who where decapiated or raped with a bullet in the head for extra measures.

  10. bofh1961

    Russia is bluffing

    Russia's economy can afford to knock out maybe a couple of dozen satellites. The ones over Ukraine would be the obvious target but Starlink could replace them quicker than Russia can replace the missiles used to destroy them. Putin would be running the risk of being very publicly humiliated by Elon Musk.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Russia is bluffing

      He's already been very publicly humiliated by Ukraine, which didn't just roll over when Russian troops came to invade. What a surprise.

      70 years of NATO doctrine stated that the Russian army was a formidable adversary. Six months of Ukraine says they're incapable of anything but retreating and waiting for General Winter.

      It would seem that Putin has let the Russian army languish in 1970. He doesn't have the means to meaningfully harm any satellite constellation, either militarily or financially.

      But let's cut to the chase : space will become a battlefield, because there are just too many selfish pricks in positions of power that cannot resist doing that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Russia is bluffing

        "It would seem that Putin has let the Russian army languish in 1970"

        These are worth a read/listen:

        https://www.thebulwark.com/i-commanded-u-s-army-europe-heres-what-i-saw-in-the-russian-and-ukrainian-armies/

        https://www.thebulwark.com/podcast-episode/general-mark-hertling-russias-awful-army/

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Russia is bluffing

      The ones that cover Ukraine are the same satellites that cover the USA.

      The joy of LEO

      1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: Russia is bluffing

        LEO means it needs a whole lot of nearby ground stations as uplinks.

        1. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: Russia is bluffing

          nearby ground stations as uplinks

          fortunately, nothing that the Russians could blow-up. Instead of going after a couple of static ground stations, those stupid Russians will try to knock out thousands of small satellites flying 30 000km/h at 400km height.

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: Russia is bluffing

          Yes, unless they can unmythify the communication between satellites for more remote ones, they'll still need local uplinks. If you wanted to take out Ukraine's ability to use Starlink, it would be easier to attack those uplinks which don't move than satellites which not only are moving but have replacements earlier in the orbit. Unfortunately for Russia, the uplinks they'd need to go after are in some cases on the soil of NATO members and bombing things there can be dangerous.

  11. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had threatened to pull Starlink service from Ukraine earlier this month, citing its untenable upkeep costs and asking for the Pentagon to pick up some of the bill"

    How much actual cost is there to maintain the Starlink network over Ukraine? Surely it must be worth the free advertising and good PR no matter if its costing millions per week. But perhaps being forced to buy Twitter for well over what it is worth must have hurt poor Musks bank balance.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      He didn’t threaten to pull starlink from Ukraine, he just threatened to stop providing it as a free service in Ukraine,

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Whenever so much is rotten to the core, to think it fixable to an earlier known state, is insanity.

    "Apparently, [western] States do not realize that such actions in fact constitute indirect participation in military conflicts," Vorontsov said. While not naming any particular companies, it's clear Vorontsov was referencing SpaceX's Starlink, which has been deployed by Ukrainian forces (most crucially, with US government financing) to maintain internet connections while fighting off Russian invaders.

    Methinks only a useless idiot would not realize that such actions in fact constitute indirect participation in military conflicts and another legitimate weapon for targeting and attacking to destruction would then be the US dollar and Federal Reserve banking system for its global support of the constant supply of conflict and mayhem, madness and chaos. FFS ... the phantom two-faced enemy is well known in Blighty.... where Uncle Sam bankrolled the IRA against the British state for decades in the era and arena of “The Troubles” although its not much talked about nowadays that all the eejits responsible have been decommissioned/put out to pasture with a signed agreement that no future action against them for what they might have been involved in will ever be taken against them and political bigots and assorted halfwits have taken up their causes and would squat in Stormont for their lion’s share of the peace dividend/public purse benefits and expenses ... and a nice little earner paid even when not attending to government work as they stood for election and were voted in for to do.

    Is that benefits fraud writ large?

  13. Whitter
    Holmes

    So, your man is saying it is a war then?

    Won't that get in him trouble with his boss?

  14. Tubz Bronze badge

    There is the small problem that we have had Hague and Geneva agreements that parties have signed up to and then just ignore at will, Russia's activities in Ukraine being the perfect example, in the end they are bits of paper that can enforce nothing, if you have the strength to face off against the world's major powers.

  15. MJI Silver badge

    That Tesla is still in space

    Could it return and land on poop tins head?

  16. tmTM

    Duality of Russian command

    So Russia has the ability to take down StarLink (have you seen how many satellites are up there?) but also cannot field properly trained, armed or supplied soldiers.

  17. RLWatkins

    He'll run out of rockets.

    Lots of irrelevant geopolitics on this thread.

    Why irrelevant?

    There are more satellites for him to hit than he has rockets capable of hitting them, by probably an order of magnitude.

  18. Kamisama

    Picking a fight with Elon Musk somehow does not seem like the smart thing to do.

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