Kiev planning strike on Russia with Western-made missiles – Moscow
The Ukrainian military leadership has plans to use Western weapons to strike parts of Russia that are not part of the active zone of hostilities, including Crimea, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has warned.
In particular, officials in Kiev want to use HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles, he said. The weapon systems have been delivered to Kiev by the US and the UK respectively and, if such attacks are launched, it would escalate the NATO nations’ involvement in the conflict, according to Shoigu.
Such an operation will “result in immediate strikes against the decision-making centers in the territory of Ukraine,” he stated. The defense minister was speaking on Tuesday during a high-profile meeting in his department.
The minister also offered a brief update on the special military operation in Ukraine, stating that since June 4 Kiev’s forces launched 263 attacks against Russian positions. “All of them were repelled, the enemy failed to reach its goals,” he added.
The Ukrainian government this month launched its long-anticipated counteroffensive. So far, it has failed to achieve significant advances on the ground, according to Russian reports and to accounts in Western media.
The US and its allies have supplied Western-made military hardware worth billions of dollars in preparation for the Ukrainian operation, including main battle tanks that they’d previously hesitated to offer.
The Russian military claimed to have destroyed a significant portion of the arsenal in the past two weeks, as Ukrainian forces failed to breach minefields or to deal with Russian advantage in artillery firepower and air superiority.
The delivery in May of Storm Shadow missiles was another move to give Ukraine additional military capabilities ahead of the counteroffensive. These have a range of up to 300 kilometers (200 miles), which is superior to other weapons that Kiev has access to.
The Russian Ministry of Defense regularly reports intercepting the British-made weapons in its regular updates on the Ukraine campaign.