Russia threatens Britain with 'adequate response from its military' after UK sends ‘Storm Shadow’ missiles to Ukraine

11 May 2023, 14:03 | Updated: 11 May 2023, 15:52

Storm Shadow or SCALP EG a joint British, French and Italian low observable air launched cruise missile, produced by MBDA
Storm Shadow or SCALP EG a joint British, French and Italian low observable air launched cruise missile, produced by MBDA. Picture: Alamy
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Russia has threatened Britain with "an adequate response" from its military after the UK announced plans to send ‘Storm Shadow’ missiles to Ukraine.

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace confirmed on Thursday that the UK will be donating Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine, telling MPs they will give the war-torn country the "best chance to defend themselves against Russia's continued brutality".

The long-range, conventional-only, precision strike capability weapons will give Ukraine the "best chance to defend themselves against Russia's continued brutality," said Wallace during a statement to MPs in the Commons.

Wallace stressed that Ukraine has a right to defend itself against Russia's "deliberate targeting of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, which is against international law."

The donation of these weapons systems comes as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, with Wallace stating that Russia's aggression is "already failing."

The Storm Shadow has the range to strike deep into Russian-held territory in Eastern Ukraine, giving Ukrainian forces the ability to hit Russian troops and supply dumps deep behind the front lines.

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In February Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise visit to the UK.
In February Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a surprise visit to the UK. Picture: Getty

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A Western official told CNN that the UK has received assurances from the Ukrainian government that these missiles will be used only within Ukrainian sovereign territory and not inside Russia.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "Russia is extremely negative about the supply of Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles by Britain to Kyiv, an adequate response will be required."

UK officials have made frequent public statements identifying Crimea as Ukrainian sovereign territory, describing it as “illegally annexed.”

Kyiv is expected to unleash a counteroffensive soon after six months of keeping its forces on the defensive. Russia mounted a huge winter offensive that failed to capture significant territory.

The Defence Secretary made the announcement in the Commons earlier
The Defence Secretary made the announcement in the Commons earlier. Picture: Parliament TV
The Storm Shadow missile is a long-range, air-launched, precision-guided cruise missile that is designed to strike high-value targets with a high degree of accuracy.
The Storm Shadow missile is a long-range, air-launched, precision-guided cruise missile that is designed to strike high-value targets with a high degree of accuracy. Picture: Wikipedia

He described the "smashed buildings and the piles of rubble where once there were thriving businesses and homes full of life" as the "visible and tragic symbols of the Kremlin's desperation."

Wallace further condemned Russia's "needless destruction and the gratuitous violence, the continuing violations despite warnings of international law and the deliberate targeting and killing of civilians."

The UK's commitment to being the first country to provide Ukraine with long-range missiles still stands, according to Downing Street, despite reports that Britain has already supplied the weaponry to the country.

Russian soldier signals his surrender to Ukrainian drone 'near Bakhmut'

Wallace warned that Russia remains a formidable military force and that "the next few weeks and few months will be critical." However, he stated that the UK's "momentum for Ukraine must and will stand" with Ukraine "for as long as it takes."

The Defence Secretary noted that this week's Victory Day Parade showcased "this historic failure", adding: "It demonstrated Putin's efforts to twist the Soviet Union sacrifice against the Nazis with an insult to their own Immortal Regiment."

The missile is designed to be carried by a variety of aircraft, including the RAF's Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets. It has a range of over 150 miles and can be launched from a safe distance
The missile is designed to be carried by a variety of aircraft, including the RAF's Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets. It has a range of over 150 miles and can be launched from a safe distance. Picture: MBDA Missiles

It is the actions of Russia alone that have led to Storm Shadow missiles being provided to Ukraine, the Defence Secretary has said.

Ben Wallace told MPs: "The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory."

He said he will not give further details about the capabilities, but added that "while these weapons will give Ukraine new capability, members should recognise that these systems are not even in the same league as the Russian AS-24 killjoy hypersonic missile" or "even the Kalibr cruise missile with a range of over 2,000 kilometres, roughly seven times that of a Storm Shadow missile".

Mr Wallace went on: "Russia must recognise that their actions alone have led to such systems being provided to Ukraine.

"It is my judgment as Defence Secretary that this is a calibrated and proportionate response to Russia's escalations."

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