British long range missiles set to ‘make Russia pay’ in Ukraine

British-supplied long range Storm Shadow missiles have given Ukraine the ability to strike deep into the occupied territories and will “make Russians pay” for their brutal full-scale invasion, analysts have said. Multiple Storm Shadow missiles are already in the conflict regions, according to UK defence secretary Ben Wallace, with more on the way, and Russia is now being forced to relocate their ammunition supplies behind the 155 mile range of the cruise missiles. George Barros, a Russia analyst at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington-based think tank, said the Storm Shadows would have a “terrible effect on the morale” of Vladimir Putin’s Armed Forces.

Britain’s supply of long-range Storm Shadow missiles represents a major U-turn among the Western supporters of Ukraine.

Until now, Western allies had refused to provide Ukraine with long-range weapons that threaten positions within Russia.

Powered by a turbo-jet engine, the 1,300kg Storm Shadow missile travels at speeds of more than 600 mph, is just over five metres long and has a wingspan of three metres. Its manufacturer, MBDA, claims it has a range of 155 miles, 105 miles further than the US-supplied HIMARS currently in Ukraine.

Britain received assurances from the Ukrainian government these missiles will not be used to strike within Russia, according to multiple senior Western officials, but the artillery will allow the defending forces to strike logistics hubs and military bases deep inside the occupied regions from a safer distance with devastating effect.

“It’s going to have a terrible effect on morale for the Russian forces, and officers and commanders who are going to be operating within Ukraine,” George Barros told Insider.

“It’s just going to degrade the overall Russian war effort. The Ukrainians are very capable of making the Russians pay.”

Putin’s forces in Ukraine have maintained a tactic long-employed by the Russian Armed Forces in which territory is razed to the ground with artillery before the infantry move in. The manoeuvre leaves cities and other regions devastated but minimises the number of soldiers lost in battle.

To carry this out effectively, they have depended heavily on staging massive amounts of artillery shells near the front lines to sustain a high rate of fire.

Ukraine used the US-supplied HIMARS to degrade the effectiveness of Russia’s battlefield tactic by forcing them to move their ammunition depots further from the frontlines.

Mr Barros said the Storm Shadow supplies ensure that Russia’s tactic “will be reduced even further” because it will require the Russians to undertake even more stringent sustainment and protection measures to avoid the missile’s long range.

This means pushing ammunition depots and command and control efforts even deeper into occupied territory and away from the front lines.

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Beyond this tactical headache for the Russians, it will allow Ukraine to instil a fresh sense of fear into Moscow’s commanders, who previously thought they were out of range.

Higher-ranking Russian military officials reside deep in Ukraine’s occupied territory and might have previously felt safe so far from the frontlines.

Russian commanders now understand that Ukraine has the potential capacity to deliver a warhead right to their location, Mr Barros said.

“So the more that these Russian commanders are exposed to Ukrainian fires, I expect their survivability to decrease,” Mr Barros said.

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