An unconfirmed report has suggested that the UK has sent long range “Storm Shadow cruise missiles” to Ukraine and Moscow warns Britain they have crossed the “red line.”
CNN cited that “multiple western sources” that the UK has already sent a number of the cruise missiles ahead of Ukraine’s counteroffensive.
CNN were also told by a US military official that the Storm Shadow cruise missiles are “a real game changer from a range perspective.”
CNN reported, The UK has previously said that it will supply Ukraine with long-range weapons, this will now include a number of Storm Shadow missiles.
“The British Government has been clear that this is only in response to Russia’s deliberate targeting of civilian national infrastructure and is a proportionate response.”
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The British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is expected to announce to the House of Commons they to send the cruise missiles to Kyiv.
Military analyst Sean Bell told Sky News, “To date, the US and other countries have raised concerns that if Western weapons were used to strike targets within Russia, then there is a risk of escalation.
“However, technically any weapons can be used to strike across the border, so the issue here is really how far into Russian territory these missiles would reach.”
He said that the missiles cost over £2 million each and that the UK has around 700 of the long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles.
He added, “This is a heavy weapon. The challenge here would be getting them fitted to Ukrainian fast-jets.”
The Kremlin has warned the UK that sending the long-range missiles will be met with an “adequate response.”
The Kremlin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has warned the UK that sending cruise missiles to Ukraine has crossed the “red line.”
Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti quoted Peskov as saying, “Russia is extremely negative about the supply of Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles by Britain to Kyiv, an adequate response will be required.”
The British Ministry of Defence (MoD) had issued a notice of “expressions of interest” (EOI) to send “missiles or rockets with a range 100-300km (62-186 miles)” to Kyiv.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukraine needs “a bit more time” before the counteroffensive is launched.
President Zelensky told European public service broadcasters in an interview published on Thursday, “With [what we have] we can go forward and be successful.
“But we’d lose a lot of people. I think that’s unacceptable.”
“So we need to wait. We still need a bit more time,” he added.