Putin under attack: Explosion ‘from British Storm Shadow missile’ rips through
Russia faced a major bombardment today as huge explosions ripped through the occupied port of Berdiansk – with Ukraine believed to be making the most of new missiles gifted by Britain.
Footage shows the moment facilities at the port are hit with a suspected Storm Shadow missile, Britain’s most potent non-nuclear missile which can strike targets from a range of 150 miles.
A huge plume of smoke was seen rising from a location in the port area on the Sea of Azov, in the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia region.
Russian state media outlet RT said there had been ‘casualties and destruction’ from the strike, the exact target of which was not immediately clear.
Russian-installed official Vladimir Rogov said there had been nine people reported injured. Berdiansk was first hit on Saturday in Storm Shadow missile strikes.
A huge plume of smoke was seen rising from a location in the port area on the Sea of Azov, in the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia region
Footage shows the moment facilities at the port are hit with a suspected British-supplied Storm Shadow
State media outlet RT said there had been ‘casualties and destruction’ from the strike. The exact target of which was not immediately clear
Russia faced a major bombardment today as huge explosions ripped through the occupied port of Berdiansk
Chaos was also unleashed inside Russia today, with the border region of Belgorod facing renewed attacks from the air.
Two women were reportedly killed in the Maslova Pristan settlement amid intense shelling in Shebekinsky district.
A child and another adult were reported as wounded.
A report said an explosive device was dropped on a road from a drone.
The area is under siege from Russian anti-Putin partisans challenging the armed forces from bases inside Ukraine.
A video shows Free Russia Legion fighters inside Russia at Novaya Tavolzhanka village in Belgorod region.
Thousands of locals have evacuated border towns and villages amid fighting.
In Russian-occupied Mariupol, also on the Sea of Azov, air defences hit incoming Ukrainian missiles, according to Russian reports.
Earlier Russia faced drone attacks in Kursk region, which borders Ukraine.
In a night-time attack on Berdiansk last week, which reports suggested may also have been carried out with Storm Shadow missiles, fire was seen raining down over the port.
Videos from a residential building showed a column of flames believed to be rising over the port area following the strike.
It was claimed a Russian store of S-300 air defence missiles was struck in the attack, but there was no immediate confirmation.
An unnamed Russian official in Zaporizhzhia verified the attack in Berdiansk, saying the city was ‘under the Kyiv regime’s fire. Explosions were heard on the outskirts [of the city]. First responders were working at the scene’.
MailOnline was unable to immediately verify whether British missiles were used.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace previously confirmed the missiles had been used by Ukraine on 18 May – 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.
Explosions in the Russian-occupied city of Berdiansk, in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine on May 26
An interrupted attack on Russia’s Morozovsk military airfield in the Rostov region on May 26
Ukraine is the only country to be publicly supplied with these missiles by the UK.
The £2.2million-per-unit missiles will allow Ukrainian forces to strike deeper into Russian-held territory.
They were suspected to have been used this month when Russian MP Viktor Vodolatsky sustained injuries after an attack on May 15.
The Storm Shadow missile was first developed in 1994, but was first used by the French Ministry of Defence before being used by Britain.
The missile weighs approximately 1,300 kilograms (2,900lb), with a conventional warhead weighing 450 kilograms (990lb).
The ‘fire-and-forget’ missiles are pre-programmed before a mission and speed off at up to 621mph, reaching targets up to 350 miles away.
The missiles were used for the first time operationally by UK forces in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, where they were tested by the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron.
The RAF and the French Air Force have used them against Isis. Britain also used them against Syrian forces in 2018.
Last year, the US sent Harpoon anti-ship missiles to Ukraine to beef up offensive power.
Britain recently sent a shipment of Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine, enabling Kyiv’s forces to strike deeper into Russian-held territory
The missiles are also capable of striking targets on land.
At around £1million-a-missile, they are significantly cheaper than the Storm Shadow missiles from Britain – but have a range capped at 150 miles and reach speeds of up to 537mph.
Both are ‘subsonic’ missiles, travelling below the speed of sound.
Defence analyst Dr James Bosbotinis said the Storm Shadow’s range allows it to hit ‘high-value hardened targets’ that ‘the adversary does not want to have attacked’ such as bunkers, as reported by Forces.net.
Some of the aftermath of early May 26 missile strikes in Krasnodar, southern Russia
Ukraine also has its HIMARS rocket systems for defence, but these have a range of only 50 miles.
Russian forces have adapted by pulling their munitions out of range during clashes.
The exact number of Storm Shadow missiles sent to Ukraine has not been disclosed.
Most of the UK’s stocks have to be reserved in case of any direct conflict involving British forces.
Strategic analyst Howard Wheeldon indicated the UK could not afford to send jets as its current fleet is too small to defend the British Isles.
He told the Mail: ‘All credit to the UK government for its fast response and actions, but the sad fact is that after providing an unquantified number of probably time-expired Storm Shadow missiles, the UK has little else it can give.’