The “prospects are even more worrying” over Moscow’s war in Ukraine, a Russian state television host has said, following the promise of further weapons supplies to Ukraine.
On Monday, the U.K. government said it would send Kyiv “hundreds” of air defense missiles and long-range attack drones, which it said would have a range of more than 250 kilometers. The new weapons will be delivered to the Ukrainian military in the coming months, London said, as they are intended to help Ukraine “in their anticipated military surge to counter Russian forces.”
On Thursday, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles “are now going into, or are in,” Ukraine already, without confirming the number of missiles sent.
“We are extremely negative about this,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, adding it would lead to “further destruction” and “retaliatory actions.”
Monday’s announcement came ahead of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s arrival in the U.K., meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the leader’s country estate, Chequers.
In the wake of the new weapons pledges from London, the “prospects are even more worrying,” Russian state media host, Olga Skabeyeva, said in a clip posted to Twitter by Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s interior ministry.
“We should treat these issues of weapons and military equipment as seriously as possible,” Russian military commentator, Mikhail Khodaryonok, added in the translated clip.
“We really do need to prepare thoroughly and with necessary precautions,” Khodaryonok said. “We shouldn’t succumb to bravado.”
Since the U.K. confirmed the delivery of Storm Shadow missiles, Russia has claimed Kyiv has used the new long-range capabilities in the eastern Luhansk region, which forms part of the contested Donbas.
On Monday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a post to Telegram that it had intercepted a Storm Shadow missile, but did not offer further information.
Kyiv’s Western allies had been reluctant to commit long-range strike capabilities to Ukraine, with the U.S. refusing to provide ATACMS, or Army Tactical Missile Systems, which have a range of around 300 kilometers.
These new weapons pledged by the U.K. mark a “very substantial development” because they make targets far behind the front lines suddenly within Ukraine’s reach, Fabian Hoffmann, a doctoral research fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway, told Newsweek on Monday.
The new cruise missiles will likely be used for high-value targets that other weapons systems struggle to reach, he added, with the promised drones able to cause “very substantial damage” on less fortified areas behind the frontlines.
Ahead of arriving in the U.K., Zelensky also secured new weapons packages from several of Ukraine’s continental European allies, including Germany and France.
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