‘British Storm Shadow missile’ hits bridge between Crimea and Russian territory


Ukraine used a British-supplied Storm Shadow missile to hit a key bridge between Crimea and Russian-held parts of the Kherson region in Ukraine, pro-Moscow sources have claimed. 

Vladimir Saldo, the Russia-appointed Kherson governor, said the Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles were likely to have been used for the attack, which damaged the road on the Chongar bridge. No casualties have been reported.

The strike comes just two days after the Kremlin warned that it would see the UK as ‘full-fledged’ participants in the war in Ukraine if the Storm Shadow missiles hit Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014. 

Images show a large hole in the bridge, revealing the water below, as well as rubble strewn across the road. The damaged bridge was still standing but the extent of the internal structural damage was not immediately clear. 

Saldo vowed: ‘There will soon be a very serious answer.’ The governor described the attack as ‘another senseless action ordered from London by the Kyiv regime.’

Ukraine used a British-supplied Storm Shadow missile to hit a key bridge between Crimea and Russian-held parts of the Kherson region in Ukraine, pro-Moscow sources have claimed. Pictured: A hole in the bridge

Ukraine used a British-supplied Storm Shadow missile to hit a key bridge between Crimea and Russian-held parts of the Kherson region in Ukraine, pro-Moscow sources have claimed. Pictured: A hole in the bridge

Images show a large hole in the bridge, revealing the water below, as well as rubble strewn across the road

Images show a large hole in the bridge, revealing the water below, as well as rubble strewn across the road

The strike comes just two days after the Kremlin warned that it would see the UK as 'full-fledged' participants in the war in Ukraine if the Storm Shadow missiles hit Crimea , which Russia annexed in 2014

The strike comes just two days after the Kremlin warned that it would see the UK as ‘full-fledged’ participants in the war in Ukraine if the Storm Shadow missiles hit Crimea , which Russia annexed in 2014

‘It solves nothing for the results of the special operation. Just to do harm,’ Saldo added.

Crimea’s governor, Sergey Aksyonov, said specialists were examining the site to determine when traffic over the bridge, which connects Crimea to the Russian-held parts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, could resume.

The crossing is the closest link from Crimea to Melitopol and is a key supply route for Vladimir Putin’s forces to the disputed peninsula, and vice-versa.

One Russian report referred to the ‘barbarous shelling of civilian objects’ in describing the bridge attack.

Acting Moscow-appointed supremo of the invaded Kherson region Vladimir Saldo said: ‘According to a preliminary assessment, British Storm Shadow missiles were used. The road surface on the bridges was damaged. There are no human casualties.’

Communication between Crimea and Kherson region continues to operate via a backup route, he said.

Alexander Kots, military correspondent of Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper said: ‘The enemy has begun to cut off Crimea from the Kherson region.

‘Storm Shadow missile strikes [have been made] on the bridge at Chongar – one of the isthmuses connecting the peninsula to the mainland.’

He saw the attack as evidence that Britain was now directly involved in the conflict.

This should entail ‘immediate strikes against decision-making centers on the territory of Ukraine’, he said.

It comes two days after Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu warned the UK and US they would be seen as ‘full-fledged’ participants in the Ukraine war if Storm Shadow and HIMARS missiles are used to hit targets in Russia or Crimea.

Shoigu warned he will target ‘decision-making centres’ in Ukraine – implying he plans to order his military to target Volodymyr Zelensky and his government leaders in Kyiv.

The damaged bridge was still standing but the extent of the internal structural damage was not immediately clear

The damaged bridge was still standing but the extent of the internal structural damage was not immediately clear

Vladimir Saldo, the Russia-appointed Kherson governor, said the Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles were likely to have been used for the attack, which damaged the road on the Chongar bridge (pictured). No casualties have been reported

Vladimir Saldo, the Russia-appointed Kherson governor, said the Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles were likely to have been used for the attack, which damaged the road on the Chongar bridge (pictured). No casualties have been reported

Analysts have said the long-range Storm Shadow (pictured on display in the RAF museum) has been a game changer for the Ukrainians as Kyiv launches its counteroffensive. The Storm Shadow missiles, accurate to beyond 150 miles, allow Ukrainian forces to strike deeper into Russian-held territory than was previously the case

Analysts have said the long-range Storm Shadow (pictured on display in the RAF museum) has been a game changer for the Ukrainians as Kyiv launches its counteroffensive. The Storm Shadow missiles, accurate to beyond 150 miles, allow Ukrainian forces to strike deeper into Russian-held territory than was previously the case

Shoigu said on Tuesday: ‘According to our information, the leadership of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is planning to launch strikes on the territory of the Russian Federation, including Crimea, with HIMARS and Storm Shadow missiles. 

‘The use of these missiles outside the area of the special military operation would mean a full-fledged involvement of the US and UK in the conflict entailing immediate strikes on the decision-making centres in Ukraine.’

His claim that Crimea is part of Russia is disputed by the West – and international law – which regards it as Ukrainian.

Russia is rattled at the power and accuracy of the Storm Shadow with a range of 155 miles, which has been fired from Ukrainian Su-24 war planes.

‘The Kyiv regime is employing a large number of Western weapons and elite formations whose personnel have been trained by NATO specialists,’ Shoigu told the collegium of the Russian defence ministry earlier this week.

A graphic showing how the Storm Shadow Missiles work on the battlefield

A graphic showing how the Storm Shadow Missiles work on the battlefield

US-made HIMARS systems (pictured) also changed the game, allowing Ukraine to strike deeper into Russian-controlled territory and push the frontlines back

US-made HIMARS systems (pictured) also changed the game, allowing Ukraine to strike deeper into Russian-controlled territory and push the frontlines back

So far Ukraine has used long-range British-supplied Storm Shadow and US-provided HIMARS to hit targets in Russian-occupied areas of mainland Ukraine, not including Crimea.

At least one Russian general and one colonel have been killed in Ukrainian attacks using the UK Storm Shadow missile.

Col Sergei Postovalov, 53, was fatally wounded in a 10 June strike which hit a Russian command post close to Henichesk minutes after Putin’s deputy premier Denis Manturov had visited. 

Putin was reported to have visited the site in April.

Postovalov was a colonel in the Russian Interior Ministry forces.

His death follows the killing of Russian army Major-General Sergey Goryachev, 52, in a strike in annexed Zaporizhzhia region earlier this month – also seen as in a Storm Shadow attack carried out by Ukraine’s forces. 

Last week, Yevgeny Balitsky, Moscow-appointed head of the occupied Zaporizhzhia region in Ukraine, admitted the weapons are causing ‘trouble’ and are even more problematic for the Kremlin’s armies than the US-supplied HIMARS systems.

His words confirm the impression that the long-range Storm Shadow has been a game changer for the Ukrainians as Kyiv launches its counteroffensive. 

‘They certainly give us trouble with their missiles, I must say, especially Storm Shadow,’ said Balitsky.

‘We’ve somehow learned how to shoot down [US-supplied] HIMARS.

But the [British-supplied] Shadow ones are even harder. They arrive, and have a bigger radius. So it’s a problem for us.

‘In fact, our air defence is having a hard time with [Storm Shadow].

‘It shoots them down, but there’s only a 50 per cent chance of the missiles being shot down.’ 

Col Sergei Postovalov, 53, (pictured) was fatally wounded in a 10 June strike which hit a Russian command post close to Henichesk minutes after Putin's deputy premier Denis Manturov had visited

Col Sergei Postovalov, 53, (pictured) was fatally wounded in a 10 June strike which hit a Russian command post close to Henichesk minutes after Putin’s deputy premier Denis Manturov had visited

Shoigu's threat came as Russia admitted today that it had lost another colonel in an earlier Storm Shadow strike close to Crimea, on the Arabat Spit (pictured)

Shoigu’s threat came as Russia admitted today that it had lost another colonel in an earlier Storm Shadow strike close to Crimea, on the Arabat Spit (pictured)

He added: ‘Out of four, three have recently reached us.

‘Sometimes two make it. The missile is modern, although it is not the newest, but it is fast enough, it flies properly. I mean, at different speeds, at varying altitudes, changing modes, so it is not easy to shoot down.’

Britain announced the supply of Anglo-French-designed Storm Shadows to Ukraine on May 11, answering a long-time demand from Kyiv for long-range missiles to help defend their territory against Putin’s invading armies.

Storm Shadows have also struck occupied port cities Berdiansk and Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, say reports. And the £2.2million-per-unit missiles were used to target Luhansk in the occupied Donbas.

The GPS-guided ground-hugging missiles with a 450kg warhead have a range of around 155 miles. The missiles allow Ukrainian forces to strike deeper into Russian-held territory than was previously possible.

Storm Shadow is a low-observable, long-range, air-launched cruise missile developed since 1994 by Matra and British Aerospace, and now manufactured by MBDA.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace previously confirmed the missiles had been used by Ukraine on May 18– but declined to give further details. 

He said the missiles gave the Ukrainians the ability to strike Russian command and control centres which had been moved further behind the front line to keep them out of range of the rocket artillery systems the West had supplied to Kyiv. 

Ukraine is the only country to be publicly supplied with these missiles by the UK.



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