Russia has claimed Ukraine has hit two industrial sites in the occupied-Luhansk region with British-supplied Storm Shadow missiles, in what would be the first instance of the use of the long-range cruise missiles.

Kremlin-installed officials said the blast on Friday injured a member of the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament, Viktor Volodatsky, as well as six children.

On Saturday, Moscow accused Kyiv of using British long-range missiles to target civilian sites.

"Storm Shadow air-to-air missiles supplied to the Kyiv regime by Great Britain were used for the strike, despite London's declarations that these weapons would not be used against civilian targets", the ministry said in a statement.

"Nearby residential buildings were damaged. Civilians were injured, including six children," the statement added.

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Moscow's claims have not been independently verified and Kyiv has yet to comment on the incident. 

In an unexpected move earlier this week, after many Western countries had proved reluctant to provide Ukraine with long range weapons, the UK’s Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, confirmed donation of long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine in a statement to Parliament.

Within hours the rumors started that the first transfers of missiles had already occurred.

Then on Friday, the spokesman for the so-called Luhansk Peoples’ Republic, Leonid Pasechnik, claimed three missiles, of an unknown type, were fired at administrative buildings of the inactive Poly-Pack and Milam enterprises, which damaged six nearby residential buildings in the Leninsky district of Luhansk.

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Special operations forces pointed out that the Russian Buk-M1 did not have time to fire a single missile - it was destroyed by the missile and artillery unit of the Defense Forces of Ukraine.

It was claimed overnight by the Russian rosZMI propaganda channel that the attack had been carried out by two Storm Shadow cruise missiles and a US-made ADM-160 Miniature Air-Launched Decoy (MALD) missile.

Early on the morning of May 13 rosZMI published this photograph of the technical information plate that appeared to come from a Storm Shadow missile.

The Real Army telegram channel claimed, in a separate post, early on May 13, that the missile had been fired from the area of Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, 170 km from Luhansk. It was also claimed that Russian air defenses had failed to detect the cruise missiles in flight.

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Storm Shadow is a fire and forget cruise missile developed by MBDA missile systems, a joint venture between three European aerospace and defense companies.

The ‘export’ version of the missile has a 300 km range and has been modified to allow it to operate from Ukraine’s existing fleet of former-Soviet aircraft without further adjustment. It uses GPS, terrain mapping and other sensors to deliver the 450kg, two stage ‘Bomb Royal Ordnance Augmented Charge’ (BROACH) warhead onto the target.

The operation of the missile is shown in the diagram below.

Operation of Storm Shadow cruise missile.

Graphic: Steve Brown

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Comments (2)

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Florian Danzinger
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Better late than never. But why did Western countries hesitate to deliver weapons of this kind in the first place?

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aldol11
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Game changer.these missiles will cut

the mobility (fuel depots) and
firepower (ammo depots)

of the Russian troops

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