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Pentagon claims Russia put counterspace weapon into orbit last week

According to Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder, the new counterspace weapon was deployed into "the same orbit as a US government satellite"

WASHINGTON, May 22. /TASS/. The Pentagon surmised that, on May 16, Russia placed a counterspace weapon in low Earth orbit.

"On May 16 <…> Russia launched a satellite into low Earth orbit that we assess is likely a counterspace weapon, presumably capable of attacking other satellites on low Earth orbit," Pentagon Press Secretary Patrick Ryder told a regular press briefing. According to him, the new counterspace weapon was deployed into "the same orbit as a US government satellite," while its characteristics resemble previously deployed counterspace payloads in 2019-2022.

According to Ryder, the United States will continue to "monitor the situation" as it has "a responsibility to be ready to protect and defend the space domain."

In February, the US government, including President Joe Biden, leveled unsubstantiated accusations against Russia, alleging it considered deploying nuclear weapons in space. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters dismissed the accusations as another White House ploy. Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu that Moscow "has always been categorically against and is now against the deployment of nuclear weapons in space."

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in late February that it is unadvisable from all perspectives to deploy nuclear weapons in outer space. The official said existing delivery systems for such weapons are quite sufficient.