Atlantic Council: Russia’s space weapons may be the next frontier in the Ukraine conflict

2022-03-26 | Escalation strategy

By Christopher P. Mulder. In recent weeks, Russian forces have advanced on Ukraine by land, air, and sea. Understandably, much of the analysis of Moscow’s capabilities has focused on its conventional forces. However, as fierce Ukrainian resistance frustrates Russia’s invading military, it is critical for the West to fully understand a fourth domain where the Kremlin might try to gain superiority through its toolkit of aggression: space. This is particularly vital since space capabilities also enable Moscow’s nuclear infrastructure, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has put on high alert.

Space assets like GPS signals are important for, among other things, Ukrainian unmanned aircraft that could be used to target Russian artillery. It isn’t a stretch to imagine that Russia might try to use space capabilities against Ukraine. Here’s a look at Russia’s possible range of space weapons and how the West can respond, both to blunt attacks and hold Moscow accountable.


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