US Intelligence fears that Russia plans to send a nuclear weapon into space

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken called on China and India to try to dissuade the Russians from their potential plans.

Senior US officials are seriously concerned that Russia may send a nuclear weapon into space that could endanger the world's satellites.

According to a report in The New York Times, the concern is such that Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken asked China and India to try to dissuade Russia from its plans.

According to the NYT, Russia carried out a series of secret military satellite launches in early 2022, when the invasion of Ukraine broke out. At that point, American intelligence officials began investigating what Russian authorities were up to.

“Later, spy agencies discovered Russia was working on a new kind of space-based weapon that could threaten the thousands of satellites that keep the world connected,” reported the New York newspaper.

Addressing these concerns, in recent weeks the country's spy agents issued a new warning about another potential Russian satellite launch. The specific question is whether the Russians really plan to place a real nuclear weapon in space, an action that would represent a violation of a treaty that is more than half a century old.

However, the NYT reported that US agencies are divided "on the likelihood that President Vladimir V. Putin would go so far."

Still, the situation is of vital importance to the Biden administration.

In any case, even if Russia decides to take the step of launching a nuclear weapon into space, US agencies believe that the weapon will not be detonated.

“Instead, it would lurk as a time bomb in low orbit, a reminder from Mr. Putin that if he was pressed too hard with sanctions, or military opposition to his ambitions in Ukraine or beyond, he could destroy economies without targeting humans on earth,” the newspaper reads.

Although there is no certainty about Russian plans, Secretary Blinken has already raised the possibility of the Russian nuclear initiative to his Chinese and Indian counterparts, during a private meeting at the Munich Security Conference.

According to the Times report, Blinken's message was clear: a nuclear denotation in space would affect not only US satellites but also those of China and India.

Meanwhile, US analysts and officials agreed that the consequences of a potential nuclear explosion in space would be catastrophic.

“Global communications systems would fail, making everything from emergency services to cell phones to the regulation of generators and pumps go awry. Debris from the explosion would scatter throughout low-earth orbit and make navigation difficult if not impossible for everything from Starlink satellites, used for internet communications, to spy satellites,” the NYT states.