Russia says long-range Storm Shadow missiles hit a polymer manufacturing plant and a meat processing plant.
A Ukrainian aircraft struck two industrial sites in the Russian-controlled city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine with UK-supplied Storm Shadow long-range cruise missiles, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
On Thursday, the UK became the first country to say it had begun supplying Kyiv with long-range cruise missiles that would allow it to hit Russian troops and deliver debris behind front lines as it prepares a major counteroffensive.
British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said the missiles could be used inside Ukrainian territory, saying he had received assurances from Kyiv that they would not be used to strike targets inside Russia’s internationally accepted borders.
On Saturday, the Russian ministry said missiles had hit a polymer manufacturing plant and a meat processing plant in Luhansk on Friday.
“Storm Shadow air-to-air missiles supplied by Britain to the Kyiv regime were used in the strike, contrary to statements from London that these weapons would not be used against civilian targets,” the ministry said.
It also claimed that Russia shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets, a Su-24 and a MiG-29, that fired the missiles.
In its latest bulletin, the ministry also said Russian forces had gained control of another block in the eastern city of Bagmut, which Moscow has been trying to capture for more than 10 months in an armed conflict.
“Units of the Air Force provided support to the assault units and pinned down the enemy in flanks,” it said.
The Ministry often uses the term “assault units” to refer to Wagner’s private fighters, which lead the attack on Bagmuth at great cost.
EU demands long-range weapons for Ukraine
Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell on Saturday called on European countries to provide long-range weapons to Ukraine to counter Russian attacks, while accelerating overall arms deliveries.
“The Russians are dropping bombs from far away, so the Ukrainians have to be able to reach the same distance, the same border,” Borel said after a meeting with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Stockholm.
“But we have to speed up,” he said, as Germany announced a new arms package for Ukraine worth 2.7 billion euros ($2.95bn), including tanks, armored vehicles and air-defense systems.
“I welcome the German initiative and call on all member states to follow this example,” Borrell said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has urged Western allies to provide more advanced weapons ahead of a widely expected counteroffensive against Russian troops in eastern Ukraine.
Zelenskyy is seeking to speed up the process for formal negotiations on EU membership for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion, which began in February 2022.