Russia launched counter-space weapon, Pentagon says | WORLD
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Russia launched counter-space weapon, Pentagon says

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

Russia launched counter-space weapon, Pentagon says

Defense Department spokesman Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder on Tuesday said that Russia had launched a satellite into low-earth orbit that the U.S. believed was a counter-space weapon. Ryder said the weapon is likely capable of attacking other satellites, and Russia had deployed it in the same orbit as a U.S. government satellite. Ryder said that the Russian satellite poses a direct threat to the U.S. government satellite.

What is the U.S. going to do about it? The United States will continue to monitor the situation and actively maintain its national security in space, he said. The launch resembled counter-space payloads that Russia put into orbit in 2019 and 2022, Ryder said.

What does Russia have to say about this? Russian state media on Wednesday denied that the Kremlin had launched a weapon into space. The report cited Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov as saying that Moscow opposed putting strike capabilities in low-earth orbit. He said the Pentagon’s claim about the counter-space missile was fake news.

Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in the United States acknowledged a Friday launch by the Russian Defense Ministry that it said contained a spacecraft. The one-sentence announcement came in a newsletter, uploaded to the social media site Telegraph, and shared by the embassy’s verified account on X.

Dig deeper: Read Christina Grube’s report in The Sift about Russia vetoing a UN resolution to keep nuclear weapons out of space.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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