Russia drops for the first time "Shadow of the Storm" and Zelensky talks about an alliance of combat aircraft

Russia said today, Monday, that it shot down for the first time a long-range "Storm Shadow" missile that Ukraine acquired from Britain, which was used to hit industrial sites in the city of Lugansk, which is controlled by Moscow, in eastern Ukraine, while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in statements in Britain that Decisions he described as very important regarding the coalition of combat aircraft will be taken soon.

In its daily briefing on the Ukraine war, the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that it had shot down a British-made "Stord Shadow" missile, while the Ukrainian forces were targeting industrial sites in the city of Luhansk in the Donbass region.

Russia's Tass news agency reported that Ukraine had fired two "Storm Shadow" missiles at Luhansk.

Britain is the first country to announce the supply of long-range cruise missiles to Kiev, which would allow Ukrainian forces to target Russian troops and supply depots in locations far from the front lines, as it prepares for a major counterattack against Russian forces.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday that Russia views London's decision to supply Kiev with missiles "extremely negatively," adding that increased British aid to Ukraine would cause "more destruction," but "will not have a significant impact on the course of the conflict."

Bakhmut Front

And the Ukrainian army announced today, Monday, what it called the "first success" of its attack in the vicinity of the city of Bakhmut, in eastern Ukraine.

And the commander of the Ukrainian ground forces, Oleksandr Sersky, stated that "the progress of our forces in the Bakhmut region is the first success in the offensive," which aims since last summer to restore the city, which Russian forces control the bulk of, according to what was quoted by the Ministry of Defense.

Earlier, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hana Malyar wrote on the Telegram application on Sunday, "Our units captured more than 10 enemy positions north and south of Bakhmut, and cleared a forest area near Ivanivsk from the enemy."

She added that Russian soldiers were captured during the operation, and indicated that the Ukrainian forces continue to advance, "despite all the difficulties, this is the moment when one meter equals 10 kilometers in terms of the complexity of the task."

On the same front, the head of the Russian paramilitary Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on Monday described press reports that he had offered to provide information about the locations of Russian forces to Ukrainian intelligence as "ridiculous".

"It seems that I am fighting for Russia, but at the same time Zelensky follows my instructions. Thus, the left hand is at war with the right hand," Prigozhin added ironically.

And the "Washington Post" stated yesterday, Sunday – quoting what it said were leaked US intelligence documents – that Prigozhin offered in early January to reveal the locations of Russian forces to the Ukrainian government if they withdrew from areas surrounding Bakhmut.

The American newspaper said that the offer of Prigozhin – the businessman who is called Putin's chef – came through his contacts with the Ukrainian intelligence service, and added that Ukraine rejected the offer.

Not far from Bakhmut, the pro-Moscow authorities in the city of Lugansk said that 7 people – including a high-ranking official appointed by Russia – and a boy were injured in an explosion that shook the city center.

Leonid Paschenk, an official in the so-called "Luhansk People's Republic," stated that 4 wounded – including the most senior official in the local Interior Ministry, Igor Kornet – are in serious condition.

Fighter Alliance

And Ukrainian President Zelensky said after his meeting today, Monday, with the British Prime Minister, that some decisions, which he described as very important, will be taken regarding the combat aircraft alliance soon.

Speaking about his meeting with Sunak, the Ukrainian president added, "We talked about combat aircraft, and this is a very important topic for us because we cannot control the airspace. Since we are real partners, Rishi knows all the details of the battlefield."

Zelensky did not receive a response from the leaders of Italy, Germany, Italy and France to his urgent request to obtain combat aircraft, but London will train Ukrainian pilots this summer on combat aircraft.

The British Prime Minister added that his country will be an essential part of the coalition of countries that will provide Ukraine with these combat capabilities.

Rishi Sunak Hosts Ukraine's President Zelenskyy At Checkers
Zelensky (right) met the British Prime Minister today at his summer residence near London (Getty Images)

London also pledged to deliver hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles and long-range attack drones (200 km) to Kiev in the coming months.

Yesterday, Sunday, France pledged to train a number of Ukrainian battalions and equip them with dozens of armored vehicles and light tanks of the AMX-10RC model, which are often used in reconnaissance missions, following a dinner that brought together French President Emmanuel Macron with his counterpart. Ukrainian in the Elysee Palace.

Poland and Russia

Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said today, Monday, that his country will deploy US-made "HIMARS" missile launchers in the northeast of the country in the border area with Russia, explaining to journalists that the deployment of these launchers comes "to deter any attacks and support the eastern wing of NATO (NATO)."

Last March, the Polish Ministry of Defense stated that the "HIMARS" systems would equip a military unit stationed in the Olsztyn region, approximately 80 km from the border with the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.

Ukraine's neighbor and staunch supporter, Poland, bought 20 HIMARS systems in 2019 and has now received its first batch, and Warsaw says it is negotiating with the United States for a much larger number of these weapons.

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