MOSCOW — Russia’s space chief says the recent failures of his country’s spacecraft may have been caused by hostile interference.

Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin stopped short of accusing the United States of disabling Russian satellites, but in an interview published Tuesday in the daily Izvestia he said some Russian craft had suffered malfunctions while flying beyond the reach of its tracking facilities.

Popovkin said he didn’t want to proportion blame, but modern technology makes spacecraft vulnerable to foreign influence.

Popovkin made the comment when asked about the failure of the unmanned Phobos-Ground probe, which was to explore a Mars moon but became stranded while orbiting Earth after its Nov. 9 launch.

The spacecraft is expected to fall to Earth around Jan. 15.