'Thank you Britain!' Ukrainians celebrate after destroying Russian drone with UK missile

11 April 2022, 15:22 | Updated: 11 April 2022, 15:37

Ukrainian soldiers cheered after they used a British-made missile to shoot down a Russian drone
Ukrainian soldiers cheered after they used a British-made missile to shoot down a Russian drone. Picture: Twitter/Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Ukrainian soldiers were spotted cheering in celebration after they used a British-made missile to shoot down a Russian drone.

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In a viral video, Ukrainian troops can be seen using the UK-made Starstreak missile, which is laser-guided and travels at more than three times the speed of sound, to target a Russian Orion drone.

After successfully hitting the drone the soldiers cheer in celebration with one swearing at the wreckage with his middle finger whilst another said: "There's contact, we destroyed the sh**".

According to the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces, the troops make up part of the Ukrainian 95th Air Assault Brigade, with the video being captured on Saturday.

Yuriy Kochevenko, the solider who shared the video, said: "Successful combat use of Starstreak man-portable air-defence system (MANPADS) in the Ukrainian-Russian war. 

"Air defence destroyed the Russian UAV Orlan. This is the greeting of Ukrainian paratroopers to Boris Johnson. 

"Thank you Britain. We use the support of allies effectively, send more of it. For our freedom and yours!"

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It comes as President Zelenskyy said Russia is concentrating tens of thousands of soldiers for its next offensive in eastern Ukraine.

During a surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday Boris Johnson set out new military assistance of 120 armoured vehicles and new anti-ship missile systems, in addition to the £100 million worth of high-grade military equipment already agreed.

It will include more Starstreak anti-aircraft missiles, another 800 anti-tank missiles, and high-tech loitering munitions for precision strikes.

The Prime Minister also confirmed further economic support, guaranteeing an additional £385m in World Bank lending to Ukraine, taking the UK total loan guarantee to up to $1 billion.

Praising the UK's support today, the General Staff of Ukraine's Armed Forces added: "In Kharkiv region, the air defense unit of a separate airborne assault brigade with British-made MANPADS 'Starstreak' successfully destroyed another Russian UAV 'Orlan-10'."

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It comes after the Russian military claimed it has destroyed a shipment of air defence missile systems provided to Ukraine by the West.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Igor Konashenkov said the military used sea-launched Kalibr cruise missiles to destroy four S-300 air defence missile launchers on the southern outskirts of the city of Dnipro. He said about 25 Ukrainian troops were also hit by the strike on Sunday.

Maj Gen Konashenkov said in a statement on Monday that Ukraine had received the air defence systems from a European country that he did not name. His claim could not be independently verified.

Today the UK expressed fears that Vladimir Putin's forces could use white phosphorus (WP) munitions in the bombardment of the besieged Ukrainian port Mariupol.

A British defence intelligence assessment said WP had already been used by Russia in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.

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White phosphorus is used for illumination at night or to create a smokescreen, but when it is deployed as a weapon it causes horrific burns.

The intelligence assessment published by the Ministry of Defence on Monday said: "Russian forces' prior use of phosphorus munitions in the Donetsk Oblast raises the possibility of their future employment in Mariupol as fighting for the city intensifies."

The MoD said Russian forces had continued shelling in the Donetsk and Luhansk areas of eastern Ukraine, but Kyiv's troops had repulsed "several assaults".

"Russia's continued reliance on unguided bombs decreases their ability to discriminate when targeting and conducting strikes while greatly increasing the risk of further civilian casualties," the department warned.

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'Make Russians feel the pain of this bloody, genocidal war.'

Mr Zelensky used his nightly address to warn Ukrainians to brace for a Russian onslaught in the country's east.

"Russian troops will move to even larger operations in the east of our state," he said.

"They can use even more missiles against us, even more air bombs. But we are preparing for their actions.

"We will respond. We will be even more active in providing Ukraine with weapons."