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7 Aug, 2023 02:47

France supplies long-range missiles to Ukraine

Ukrainian forces have apparently already used SCALP-EGs in strikes on civilian infrastructure in Crimea
France supplies long-range missiles to Ukraine

President Emmanuel Macron has followed through on his promise to supply Ukraine with the French variant of the Storm Shadow missile, according to footage released by Kiev's Defense Ministry. 

Macron initially announced his decision to provide Ukraine with “long-range missiles” in May, and doubled down on the promise at the NATO summit in Vilnius in July, but until now their delivery was unconfirmed.

In an undated video shared on Sunday by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, President Vladimir Zelensky is seen signing a missile attached to a Su-24 jet. The projectile is marked as SCALP-EG with the French flag and a mix of the Ukrainian coat of arms with the Eiffel Tower inside. It remains unclear how many French missiles were delivered and when.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry referred to the missiles by their British name Storm Shadow, and hinted that the Zelensky-signed projectile was used in a recent strike on two bridges connecting the Crimean Peninsula to Russia’s Kherson Region.

The British-French Storm Shadow / SCALP-EG is an air-launched cruise missile with a firing range of around 250 kilometers (155 miles). It was developed in the 1990s and used in a number of Western military operations, including the NATO intervention in Libya and a strike in Syria that the US, the UK and France conducted jointly in 2018.

Kiev has repeatedly used the missiles to target civilian facilities, since receiving an unspecified number of Storm Shadows from the UK. According to Russian officials, they were fired at two civilian plants in the Russian city of Lugansk in May, injuring several people, including six children.

On Saturday, Ukraine launched some 12 Storm Shadows / SCALP-EGs at bridges connecting Crimea to the Kherson Region. At least three missiles made it through Russian-air defenses, according to local authorities, damaging two bridges across the Strait of Chongar and the Tonkiy Strait.

The attack also damaged a rural school and ruptured a local gas pipeline, leaving the nearby town of Genichesk without supply, according to the Kherson region’s acting governor, Vladimir Saldo. The damaged bridges have also hardly been used for military needs and are purely civilian infrastructure installations, he stressed.