The UK is sending long-range cruise missiles to Ukraine to help push back Russian forces, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Thursday. It is the first known shipment of the weapons that Kiev has long sought from its allies.
Wallace told House of Commons lawmakers that Britain is donating Storm Shadow missiles, which have a range of more than 155 miles. He did not say how many are sent.
Wallace said the missiles “are entering or are in the country itself”.
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised in February that Britain would be the first country to supply Ukraine with long-range weapons.
The missiles give Ukraine the ability to strike well behind the front lines, including in Russian-occupied Crimea. British media have reported that Ukraine has pledged not to use the missiles to attack Russia itself.
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Wallace said the missiles would be used to push Russian forces back into “sovereign Ukrainian territory”. He said the UK’s support to Ukraine is “accountable, calibrated, coordinated and agile”.
“We just won’t back down as Russia kills civilians,” Wallace said.
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He said British officials would not comment publicly on whether Britain placed restrictions on the use of the missiles.