Belligerent UK’s long-range missile delivery cranks up Ukraine war

Storm Shadow
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British Storm Shadow missiles have arrived in Ukraine. The delivery of long-range weapons has angered Russian leaders and caused concern among allies. The UK’s belligerence in regard to Ukraine has caused tensions before. Of course, a stockpile of weapons which could penetrate deeply into Russian territory risks a wider escalation of the war.

Defence minister Ben Wallace announced the delivery just hours after Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned his military didn’t have enough weapons for a planned spring offensive.

Hike in tension

Wallace told MPs:

The use of Storm Shadow will allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory.

He added:

Russia must recognise that their actions alone have led to such systems being provided.

Russian foreign minister Dmitry Peskov also commented on the news:

Read on...

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This will require an adequate response from our military, who … will make appropriate decisions.

Storm Shadow

The Storm Shadow’s capabilities make it appealing to Ukraine and concerning for Russia. It is an air-to-surface missile with a range of up to 200 miles.

It is also battle-tested: the UK and French air forces have used it in Iraq and Libya. According to reports, Ukraine’s longest-range weapon at present is the US-supplied Himars rocket. That system can fire out to 47 miles, making the Storm Shadow a game-changing weapon.

So far the US has resisted supplying longer-range missiles. Yet the Americans have publicly supported the new delivery. A US official said that “each country makes their own sovereign decision”.

UK support

Former PM Boris Johnson made a show of his support for Ukraine. It is at least arguable that this was an outcome of his domestic political woes as much as any commitment to the country. Nevertheless, the UK has continued to lavish support on the country. This has included vast amounts of material aid: mainly arms and supplies such as main battle tanks.

The UK has also trained thousands of Ukrainian troops in the country. And it was recently revealed that the UK had the highest number of special forces of any ally in the country.

The British government – and its friends in the arms trade – are steadfastly committed to war. Barring deploying troops in a combat role, it seems there is nothing they won’t do to escalate the situation. Meanwhile, peace remains an elusive and largely unmentioned concept.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/David Monniaux, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0. 

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  • Show Comments
    1. There will be peace when Russia withdraws to the pre 2014 borders. In the meantime we must do all we can to support Ukraine, which means supplying them with the latest and most effective weapons. Not doing so, will prolong the war and result in more casualties on both sides.
      Your ability to write critical articles of Uk government policy is protected by our democracy and our willingness to fight for it. Whilst I disagree with your argument I support your right to free speech. Where you to write such an article in Russia and criticise the “Special Military Operation” you’d soon be put in jail. I would be willing to fight for your right to say what you like.
      In case some readers think me a war monger, unknowing of the cost of war, I’m writing this from Nagasaki one mile from the hypercentre having spent the morning visiting the sites. Defending democracy and free speech costs blood and gold.

      1. Not one mention of the Ukraine government’s attacks on the ethnic Russian citizens of the Donbass since 2014, nor of the Kiev government’s official campaign of cultural genocide since 2014 against all things Russian. All too typical of Ukraine’s defenders.

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