The Kremlin has warned the United States and Britain that they will be considered “full” participants in the war in Ukraine if the Storm Shadow and HIMARS missiles are used to hit targets in Russia or occupied Crimea by Russia.
Vladimir Putin’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has warned he will target ‘decision-making centers’ in Ukraine, implying he is considering ordering his army to target Volodymyr Zelensky and his government leaders in Kiev.
Shoigu said: “According to our information, the leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is planning to launch strikes on the territory of the Russian Federation, including Crimea, with HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles.”
“Use of these missiles outside the Special Military Operation area would mean full US and UK involvement in the conflict resulting in immediate strikes on decision-making centers in Ukraine.”
His assertion that Crimea is part of Russia is disputed by the West – and international law – which considers it Ukrainian.
Vladimir Putin’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (pictured giving a speech) has warned he will target ‘decision-making centres’ in Ukraine, implying he is considering ordering his army to target Volodymyr Zelensky and his heads of government in Kyiv.
Shoigu’s threat came as Russia today admitted it had lost another colonel in a previous Storm Shadow strike near Crimea, on the Arabat Spit (pictured)
Putin forcibly annexed the Black Sea peninsula in 2014.
So far, Ukraine has used long-range British-supplied Storm Shadow and US-supplied HIMARS to hit targets in Russian-occupied areas on the Ukrainian mainland, excluding Crimea. .
Shoigu’s threat came as Russia today admitted it had lost another colonel in a previous Storm Shadow strike near Crimea on the Arabat Spit.
Colonel Sergei Postovalov, 53, is to be buried tomorrow after he was fatally injured in the June 10 strike that hit a Russian command post near Henichesk minutes after Putin’s Deputy Prime Minister Denis visited Manturov.
Putin reportedly visited the site in April.
Postovalov was a colonel in the Russian Interior Ministry forces.
His death follows the killing of Russian Army Major General Sergey Goryachev, 52, in a strike in the annexed region of Zaporizhzhia earlier this month – also believed to be in a Storm Shadow attack carried out by the Ukrainian forces.
Shoigu is clearly shaken by the power, especially of the Storm Shadow with a range of 155 miles, which was fired by Ukrainian Su-24 warplanes.
“The Kiev regime employs a large number of Western weapons and elite formations whose personnel have been trained by NATO specialists,” Shoigu told the Russian Defense Ministry college.
Analysts said the long-range Storm Shadow (on display at the RAF museum) was a game-changer for the Ukrainians as kyiv launched its counter-offensive. Storm Shadow missiles, accurate beyond 150 miles, allow Ukrainian forces to strike deeper into Russian-held territory than previously possible
US-made HIMARS systems (pictured) have also been a game-changer, allowing Ukraine to strike deeper into Russian-held territory and push back the frontlines.
Colonel Sergei Postovalov (pictured), 53, is to be buried tomorrow after he was fatally injured in the June 10 strike that hit a Russian command post near Henichesk
Last week, Yevgeny Balitsky, Moscow-appointed leader of Ukraine’s occupied Zaporizhzhia region, admitted the weapons cause “problems” and are even more problematic for Kremlin armies than US-supplied HIMARS systems. .
His words confirm the impression that the long-range Storm Shadow has been a game-changer for the Ukrainians as kyiv launches its counter-offensive.
“They are definitely causing us problems with their missiles, I must say, especially Storm Shadow,” Balitsky said.
‘We kind of learned to cut down [US-supplied] HIMARS.
But the [British-supplied] Those in the shadows are even more difficult. They arrive, and have a greater radius. So that’s a problem for us.
“In fact, our air defense is struggling with [Storm Shadow].
“He shoots them down, but there’s only a 50% chance the missiles will be shot down.”
He added: “Out of four, three have recently come down to us.
“Sometimes two do it. The missile is modern, although not the newest, but it is fast enough, it flies decently. I mean, at different speeds, at different altitudes, changing modes, so it’s not easy to shoot down.
Britain announced the supply of Anglo-French-designed Storm Shadows to Ukraine on May 11, responding to a long-standing request from Kiev for long-range missiles to help defend their territory against the armies of Putin’s invasion.
Storm Shadows also hit the occupied port cities Berdyansk and Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, according to reports. And the £2.2million-per-unit missiles were used to target Lugansk in occupied Donbass.
GPS-guided ground missiles with a 450 kg warhead have a range of about 155 miles. The missiles allow Ukrainian forces to strike deeper into Russian-held territory than previously possible.
Storm Shadow is a long range, low observation air-launched cruise missile developed since 1994 by Matra and British Aerospace, and now manufactured by MBDA.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace previously confirmed the missiles were used by Ukraine on May 18, but declined to give further details.
He said the missiles gave the Ukrainians the ability to hit Russian command and control centers that had been moved further behind the front line to keep them out of range of rocket artillery systems the West had. provided in Kyiv.
Ukraine is the only country to be publicly supplied with these missiles by the UK.
Russia has admitted that British-supplied Storm Shadow missiles were causing a major problem for Vladimir Putin’s forces. Pictured: An explosion is seen in the occupied port of Berdyansk earlier this month, caused by a Ukrainian attack carried out by a Storm Shadow missile
Ukrainian servicemen from the 30th Separate Mechanized Brigade Kostiantyn Ostrozkyi ride in a T-80 main battle tank captured earlier by Russian troops, along a road near the frontline town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine , June 19
A graphic showing how Storm Shadow Missiles perform on the battlefield
Britain also became the first country to supply long-range precision missiles to Ukraine with the delivery.
They were also believed to have been used this month when Russian MP Viktor Vodolatsky was injured after an attack on May 15.
The missiles were first used operationally by British forces during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, where they were tested by the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron.
The RAF and the French Air Force used them against Isis. Britain also used them against Syrian forces in 2018.