The British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has told the House of Commons on Thursday that the UK has sent long-range “Storm Shadow cruise missiles” to Ukraine.
The “game changing” long range cruise missiles will enable Ukraine to be “able to defend itself” against Vladimir Putin’s forces.
Wallace told MPs, “Today, I can confirm that the UK is donating Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine. Storm Shadow is a long-range conventional-only precision strike capability.
“It complements the long-range systems already gifted, including HIMARS and Harpoon missiles, as well as Ukraine’s own Neptune Cruise missile and longer-range missions elsewhere gifted.
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“Ukraine has a right to be able to defend itself against this. The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory.”
This is a “risk” that the UK clearly believes in taking which has angered the Kremlin and Britain has been warned by Dmitry Peskov to expect “an adequate response from our military” as the “red line” has been crossed.
President Volodymyr Zelensky told European public service broadcasters in an interview published on Thursday, “We are expecting appropriate armoured equipment. It comes in parts, and with that amount, you can move forward… But we will lose a lot of people.
“I believe that this is impossible. We need to wait. We need some more time” he said.
Zelensky said, “I am not ready to communicate with you, to say when we will be advancing, because I think you understand me.”
He then warned, “Because to some extent, this prepares the enemy. And therefore, I would like it to be an unpleasant surprise, not the other way around.”
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.
The Ukrainian President added, “I think we will achieve the appropriate result. But to say that immediately after this counteroffensive the full sovereignty of Ukraine will be restored, I can’t say that yet, because it’s a war.”