UK pledges to supply Ukraine with top rocket launchers

Ukraine: Ben Wallace reacts to threats from Vladimir Putin

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It is understood Ukrainian troops will be trained to use the launchers in the UK. The move has been “coordinated closely” with America and comes just a day after US President Joe Biden agreed to supply Ukraine with a small number of the medium-range M142 artillery rocket systems. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said yesterday: “The UK stands with Ukraine and has taken a leading role in supplying its heroic troops with the vital weapons they need to defend their country.

“As Russia’s tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine.

“These highly capable multiple-launch rocket systems will enable our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against Russia’s brutal use of long-range artillery, which Putin’s forces have used indiscriminately to flatten cities.”

Both Britain and America’s supply of such weaponry to Ukraine has sparked fury in the Kremlin.

Shortly after Mr Biden’s announcement, Russian military officials said that the country’s nuclear forces were holding drills in Ivanovo province near Moscow.

Previously, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov accused the West of “pumping up the Ukrainian nationalists with weapons”.

He said that any cargo of arms bound for Ukraine would become a legitimate target for Moscow.

The foreign ministry has said that Nato countries are “playing with fire” by sending weapons to Ukraine.

Russian military officials said this week they have completed testing of the country’s hypersonic Zircon cruise missile.

They recently test-fired a cruise missile from a vessel in the Barents Sea to a target some 625 miles away.

The US rocket systems announced by President Biden are the centrepiece of a £560million support package for Ukraine that also includes helicopters, anti-tank weapons, tactical vehicles and spare parts, the White House said.

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