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15 May, 2023 13:01

Moscow claims first intercept of UK-made long-range projectile

A Storm Shadow cruise missile was listed among several Western weapons shot down by Russian air defenses
Moscow claims first intercept of UK-made long-range projectile

Russian forces have downed a UK-supplied cruise missile along with several other weapons fired by Ukrainian forces, the Defense Ministry reported in its daily update on Monday. London confirmed delivering Storm Shadow weapons to Ukraine last week, which were promptly used to attack the city of Lugansk.

The Defense Ministry claimed weapons intercepted in the previous 24 hours included seven anti-radiation HARM missiles, one Storm Shadow missile and seven rockets fired by HIMARS multiple launch weapon systems. It was the first time that Moscow reported downing a Storm Shadow since the UK confirmed their delivery.

Local authorities in Lugansk have claimed the UK missile was used for several recent airstrikes on the Russian city. On Monday morning, two such missiles damaged residential buildings, an office, and cars in the city, a regional monitor reported.

Acting Governor Leonid Pasechnik said that a military aviation school had been hit but that the attack did not cause any casualties, citing preliminary reports from the scene.

Before London sent the cruise missiles, which can strike targets up to 300km (200 miles) away, Kiev did not have any Western weapons with a comparable range. The Ukrainian government had pleaded for months to acquire such arms, but the US and its allies were previously reluctant to extend Ukraine’s striking capability.

London said the new weapons will bolster the Ukrainian forces for the long-promised counteroffensive against Russia.

The Storm Shadows were touted as a game changer by some media outlets, which reported the impending deliveries days before an official confirmation by the UK. The MBDA-produced missile was described as having some stealth capability thanks to its relatively small size and ability to hug terrain to avoid radar detection.