THE UK is to send long-range missiles to Ukraine in defiance of Vladimir Putin's chilling warning that Russia will strike new targets if the West supplies such weapons.
A number of M270 multiple-launch rocket systems – which can hit targets up to 50 miles away – will be shipped after Russian troops blasted the outskirts of Kyiv for the first time since April.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the launchers, which have a longer range than any missile tech in use in the war, will help Ukraine defend itself against Russia.
He said: "The UK stands with Ukraine in this fight and is taking a leading role in supplying its heroic troops with the vital weapons they need to defend their country from unprovoked invasion.
"If the international community continues its support, I believe Ukraine can win. As Russia's tactics change, so must our support to Ukraine.
"These highly capable multiple-launch rocket systems will enable our Ukrainian friends to better protect themselves against the brutal use of long-range artillery, which Putin's forces have used indiscriminately to flatten cities."
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Ukrainian troops will be trained in the UK to use the equipment, he added.
It comes despite Putin's threat to the West that the West supplying longer-range missiles to Ukraine could trigger him to hit fresh targets.
The tyrant told the Rossiya-1 state television channel that if the systems were shipped, "we will strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting".
If longer-range missiles are supplied, "we will strike at those targets which we have not yet been hitting," Putin told the Rossiya-1 state television channel in an interview.
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Putin did not identify the targets Russia would strike, but said the "fuss" around Western arms supplies was designed to drag out the conflict.
US President Joe Biden last week said Washington would supply Ukraine with M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) after he received assurances from Kyiv that it would not be used to hit targets inside Russian territory.
Putin said the arms shipments were "nothing new" but warned that there would be a response if the US supplied longer-range munitions for the HIMARS systems.
The US Department of Defense said it was supplying Ukraine four M142 HIMARS systems along with the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System that it said had a range of over 40 miles.
It comes after Russia blasted Kyiv with missiles for the first time in more than a month
Plumes of dark smoke could be seen from miles away after Putin's troops attack two outlying districts on Sunday – injuring at least one person.
Presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said on Twitter the "missile strikes at Kyiv have only one goal – kill as many as possible".
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Ukraine said Russia had carried out the Kyiv strike using long-range air-launched missiles fired from heavy bombers as far away as the Caspian Sea.
Sunday's attack was the first big strike on Kyiv since late April, when a missile killed a journalist.
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