The Guardian has reported that, ‘Britain has supplied long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine, becoming the first major western country to supply arms that could strike targets deep into occupied Crimea in a counteroffensive from Kyiv. Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, told MPs for the first time that the expensive missiles – costing over £2m a time – were “now going in, or are in the country itself,” and added the gift of the missiles was supported by the US.
Wallace did not say how many Storm Shadow missiles had been given to Ukraine, although it has been estimated that the UK holds a stock of between 700 and 1,000. Working with four other countries, the UK also issued a tender to buy more long-range “missiles or rockets with a range of 100-300km” (62 to 186 miles).
The US has so far declined to supply Ukraine with its own long-range missiles, amid concerns that such a move could be considered escalatory and that Ukraine could use them to strike deep into Russia’s internationally recognised borders.
But Wallace said the US was “incredibly supportive” of the UK’s decision – and said that ATACMS missiles with a with a range of 100-300km” (62 to 186 miles). which is designed to be able to strike forces below ground defensive positions. Storm Shadow have a range of “in excess of 250km” according to its manufacturer, European arms group MBDA, although those supplied are likely to be at a reduced export range of about 186 miles (300km), so the UK can comply with existing international anti-proliferation commitments.’
Oh, that’s alright then, so long as UK is complying with international anti-proliferation commitments!
‘Britain had received assurances from the Ukrainian government that these missiles would be used only within Ukrainian sovereign territory and not inside Russia.’
Oh, that’s alright then. It’s a well known fact that governments don’t lie.
This is a very dangerous game that is being played. How much longer is the majority, the global working class,going to allow an asset owning minority play Russian roulette with their lives?
‘Russia today threatened Britain with 'an adequate response from our military' after the UK agreed to supply Ukraine with Storm Shadow long-range missiles.
The missiles, which cost about £2.2million, will allow Ukraine to hit Russian troops and logistics hubs deep behind the front line in a major blow to Vladimir Putin.
Britain had received assurances from the Ukrainian government that these missiles would be used only within Ukrainian sovereign territory and not inside Russia, multiple senior Western officials said.
Ukraine has been asking for months for long-range missiles, but support provided by Britain and other allies such as the United States has previously been limited to shorter range weapons.
But UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace today confirmed that Britain is sending the Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine, a decision that prompted a furious response from the Kremlin.’
What did TPTB think was going to be the response of the Russians?
‘The war in Ukraine has led to much sympathy and solidarity from people across Europe and beyond. And in a way, this is both understandable and heart-warming. Few want to see innocent people bombed out of their homes and turned into refugees, fleeing mass killing. The assistance people have been prepared to give Ukrainian refugees has been a testament to the basic solidarity and mutual support socialists have always said we are capable of as human beings.
The media have largely portrayed this war as a battle of good against evil. Socialists know that wars in modern capitalist society are never quite that simple. Sometimes the motivations for war are transparently economic (eg the Gulf Wars), while at other times there is a complex geo-political element, with states manoeuvring for political advantage and seeking to extend or defend their spheres of influence (the Falklands War was closer to this).
The Ukraine situation is complicated and most people (including us) did not expect armed conflict to actually break out. The ‘good versus evil’ scenario that is the dominant narrative doesn’t quite fit and as usual other factors are at play...’
‘It was fools like Nuland playing the great game that gave us World War I. World War III would be the last war. Washington’s drive to exploit every opportunity to establish its hegemony over the world is driving us all to nuclear war. Like Nuland, a significant percentage of the population of western Ukraine are Russophobes. I know the case for Ukrainian dislike of Russia, but Ukrainian emotions fueled with Washington’s money should not direct the course of history. No historians will be left to document how gullible and witless Ukrainians set the world up for destruction.’ SOYMB February 2014