Bad news for Russians: long-range missiles already in Ukraine

May 11,2023 762
Bad news for Russians: long-range missiles already in Ukraine

The Ukrainian forces’ long-range strike capability has been seriously improved by Anglo-French Storm Shadow cruise missiles that the United Kingdom delivered to Ukraine in advance of its highly anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, multiple senior Western officials told CNN.

Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov confirmed the arrival of long-awaited long-range weapons in a facetious tweet, “The weather forecast is predicting a cyclone moving from the U.K. towards Ukraine, bringing with it Storms. It is through the Shadow of the Storm that the sunshine of our liberty will break through and shed light on our Victory.”

“The U.K. 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,” one of the officials said.

According to CNN, the Storm Shadow has stealth capabilities and is typically launched from the air. With a firing range of over 250km, or 155 miles, it is just short of the 185-mile range capability of the U.S.-made surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile Systems, or ATACMS, that Ukraine has long asked for. Until now, Ukraine’s maximum range on U.S.-provided weapons was around 49 miles.

A Western official told CNN the Ukrainian government has assured the U.K. that these missiles will be used only within Ukrainian sovereign territory and not inside Russia. As for Crimea, London has made frequent public statements it is a sovereign territory of Ukraine, describing it as “illegally annexed.”

The missile is “a real game changer from a range perspective” furnishing Kyiv with a capability it has been requesting since the outset of the war, a senior U.S. military official told CNN.

Earlier this year, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak signaled that Britain was considering sending long-range weapons.

“We must help Ukraine to shield its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones,” Sunak said at the Munich Security Conference on February 18. “And that’s why the U.K. will be the first country to provide Ukraine with longer-range weapons.”

Photo: Rabih Moghrabi/AFP/Getty Images via CNN