The UK is donating long-range Stormshadow missiles to Ukraine to regain territory it has lost since Russia began its invasion, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told parliament on Thursday.
The air-launched missile, the latest in a pipeline of military aid provided to the country by Britain, the United States and other NATO allies, could hit military targets in Crimea, a region Ukraine has illegally annexed. have a nature. Russia in 2014.
Ukraine has long demanded longer-range missiles.
“Ukraine has the right to defend itself,” Wallace said. “The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based within Ukraine’s sovereign territory.”
Wallace said he would not elaborate on the weapon’s capabilities, but confirmed that the weapon has a range of 155 miles. He said the Stormshadow missile provided the Ukrainian military with new capabilities, but that it was “not on par” with some Russian weapons. He said the Russian Kalibr cruise missile had a range “about seven times longer, more than 2,000 kilometers”, than the Stormshadow missile.
Britain has been at the forefront of military aid to Ukraine, along with Poland and the Baltics. pushed out other European countries to provide more aid to the country. anti-tank missile The British-supplied weapon helped Ukraine repel a Russian attempt to seize the capital Kiev last spring, and Britain promised to deploy it in January. challenger tank to Ukraine.
In the past, announcements of arms deliveries by the United Kingdom have been followed by decisions by the United States and other countries to provide similar military assistance. It wasn’t clear. I’ve been requesting it for months.
It was not immediately clear whether the US supported the UK move. The Biden administration refrained from supplying long-range weapons to Ukraine Over concerns that Ukraine could use them to attack targets deep within Russia, and that President Vladimir V. Putin would respond by escalating the war.
Ukrainian officials have long argued that: Crimea is a key target And putting pressure on the Russian bases there is an important part of their strategy. Ukrainian military officials have also discussed with US officials the importance of damaging Russian rear forces in Crimea, which supports military operations elsewhere in Ukraine.U.S. officials announced Ukraine already has the necessary firepower attack Crimea.
One open question is whether Ukraine can hit targets in southern Crimea, including the port city of Sevastopol, home of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, with Stormshadow missiles. Southern Crimea lies about 240 miles south of the front lines of the conflict.
Former U.S. Forces Commander in Europe, Vice Admiral Ben Hodges, said on Twitter that the Black Sea Fleet would now be under threat. “This will give Ukraine the ability to make Crimea unsustainable for Russian forces,” he said.
Ukraine said it was preparing to launch a counteroffensive in the coming months. It did not say when or where the attack would take place, but potential targets include land in northern Crimea occupied by Russia.
https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/11/world/europe/ukraine-storm-shadow-missiles-uk.html UK to donate long-range ‘Storm Shadow’ missiles to Ukraine