The Bear is growing nervous. From Reuters:
Russia's Defence Ministry said on Saturday a U.S. plan to shoot
down an ailing spy satellite could be used as a cover to test a new space
weapon.The ministry said there was insufficient proof that Washington's decision
to fire a missile at the disabled satellite was to prevent a potentially deadly
leak of toxic gas as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere."In our opinion, the
decision to destroy the U.S. satellite is not as harmless as it is being
presented. Especially as the United States has been avoiding talks on
restricting a space arms race for quite a long time," the ministry's information
department said in a statement.
Actually I don't believe this a test so much as a message. The US probably wouldn't attempt such an audacious maneuver unless they felt certain they could shoot the satellite down. Of course there's no denying the object is falling to earth anyway, so Putin's insinuation doesn't hold much water.
As for a message sender: to pull off such a tremendous technological feat will doubtless send a message to rogue states desiring to possess WMD's, and also to those states who attempt to blackmail their neighbors which such weapons.