Russia Denies US Claim Of Anti-satellite Weapon in Space

( – The United States believes that Russia launched a counterspace weapon into orbit that the government believes is capable of attacking and destroying US satellites. US Ambassador Robert Wood recently told the United Nations that the device was launched in low-Earth orbit along the same path as a bus-sized US satellite — a revelation he called “troubling.” Russia reacted to the accusation.

What Did They Say?

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the story about the satellite launch was “fake news,” and he didn’t believe Russia should respond to the allegation. He insisted that his country had not violated any international laws, stating that Russian policy has not changed on the matter, no matter what Americans claim. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov affirmed that assessment, adding that Russia has historically supported the “ban on the deployment of any weapons into space.”

However, US Space Command said Russia did launch COSMOS 2576, a Russian military “inspector,” on May 16. That same launch apparently deployed other satellites into separate orbits. But Ryabkov said there was nothing surprising about the launches, stating the space program was progressing as planned. Still, Pentagon spokesperson Major General Pat Ryder said COSMOS 2576 shows similarities to other “counterspace payloads” deployed in previous years. Russia’s space program analyst Bart Hendrickx said what Russia sent into space was something not seen in the past. He said it was a combination of “military and civilian payloads,” adding that it was “unexpected.”

Further Concerns and Other Claims

The launch comes at a time soon after the United States revealed concerns about Russia’s satellite program. On April 24, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the US believes Moscow is “developing a new satellite carrying a nuclear device.”

However, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that allegation, saying his country didn’t have an intention of sending such weapons into space. Sullivan doubted those claims, stating if that were true, Russia wouldn’t have vetoed the UN Security Council’s resolution agreement to keep nuclear weapons out of Earth’s orbit.

After the accusation regarding COSMOS 2576, Russia relayed its own allegations against the US. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated she believes the US wants to put “weapons in space” and turn it into an “arena for military confrontation.”

US officials do not believe Russia has deployed a nuclear weapon into orbit — yet. While the United States is keeping a watchful eye on the sky, Russia has reportedly been doing its best to keep its space activities a secret.

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