First Cruise Missiles go to Ukraine, UK Says They Aren’t for Striking Russia

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UK reveals “calibrated and proportionate response to Russia’s escalations” with a donation of long-range cruise missiles, Russia threatens “appropriate” military response.

The United Kingdom has donated an unspecified number of longer-range stealth cruise missiles to Ukraine, saying these were for the purpose of pushing back “Russian forces based within Ukrainian sovereign territory”.

The confirmation by defence minister Ben Wallace came after claims in CNN earlier in the day that the MBDA-developed missiles had already been delivered.

In the official announcement, the UK government through Wallace made clear the cruise missiles could not be nuclear-tipped and were for defensive use. While saying the donation gave Ukraine new military capabilities, he also played down the implications of the new weapons system — likely pre-empting Russian claims of escalation — pointing out that a variety of Russian and Iranian weapons already in theatre had considerably longer range compared to the roughly 150-mile Storm Shadow.