UK becomes first Ukraine ally to supply long-range cruise missiles

Britain becomes the first country to start supplying Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles, giving Kiev the ability to attack inside Russia while the West’s hunt for any weapons delivery to Moscow continues with South Africa being the latest accusee.

Ukraine has been asking for long-range missiles for months, but massive support from Britain and other allies such as the United States have previously been limited to shorter-range weapons.

According to Press TV, British Defense Secretary Wallace said London was sending Shadow Storm missiles to Ukraine so they could be used domestically, meaning he had received assurances from Ukraine that they would not be used to target inside Russia.

Accusing Russia of deliberately targeting civilians, he claimed that Russia’s actions had led to sending such systems to Ukraine.

The missiles “are now going into, or are in, the country itself”, he said.

The Kremlin had previously warned that if Britain provides these missiles to Ukraine, it should expect “an adequate response from our army”.

Russia has launched long-range missile attacks against Ukraine in recent days. It has already said that such attacks were designed to reduce the ability of Kiev in the war, rejecting any deliberate strikes on civilians.

US accusations against South Africa

The US ambassador to South Africa accused the country of secretly supplying Russia with weapons on Thursday, a charge that drew an angry rebuke from Pretoria.

Ambassador Reuben Brigety told media at a news conference that the United States believes weapons and ammunition were loaded onto a Russian cargo ship that docked at the Cape Town naval base in December.

“We are confident that weapons were loaded onto that vessel and I would bet my life on the accuracy of that assertion,” Brigety said, according to a video of the remarks. “The arming of Russia by South Africa … is fundamentally unacceptable.”

In response to the allegations, President Ramaphosa’s office hit back and called it “disappointing” that the US envoy had “adopted a counter-productive public posture”.

“The Ambassador’s remarks undermine the spirit of cooperation and partnership that characterised the recent engagements between US government officials and a South African official delegation,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesman Vincent Magwenya, in a Thursday statement.

He added, that while there is no evidence provided to support these allegations by the US, “the government has undertaken to institute an independent enquiry to be led by a retired judge.”

Since the onset of the war, the US and the European Union have supplied Ukraine with tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles, tanks, and communication systems despite Russia’s repeated warnings that the Western military assistance will only prolong the war.

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