When can “civilian, including commercial, infrastructure elements in outer space” be legitimate military targets?

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The Politicus
Oct 28, 2022 02:04 AM 0 Answers
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The following quote of the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Konstantin Vorontsov found in Fox News' October 27, 2022 Russia threatens to target Western commercial satellites like Elon Musk's Starlink

Vorontsov did not directly mention Starlink but in a Wednesday statement said, "We would like to specifically stress an extremely dangerous trend that goes beyond the harmless use of outer space technologies and has become apparent during the latest developments in Ukraine."

"Namely, the use by the United States and its allies of civilian, including commercial, infrastructure elements in outer space for military purposes," he added, noting that satellite use "constitute[s] indirect participation" in the war. "Quasi-civilian infrastructure may become a legitimate target for retaliation."

and

Vorontsov argued that the use of commercial satellites to benefit Ukraine in the war violates the Outer Space Treaty and warned that it could start a "full-fledged arms race in outer space."

together with the recent questions and their numerous answers:

suggest that the following has a good chance of being answerable based on facts and international laws and agreements, including the Outer Space Treaty Vorontsov mentions and more recent agreements:

Question: When can "civilian, including commercial, infrastructure elements in outer space" be legitimate military targets?

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  • October 28, 2022