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UK provides long-range missiles to Ukraine ahead of counter-offensive

Image used with permission from Wikimedia Commons
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky Nov. 19, 2022. They gathered to discuss increased defense support against Russia in support of Ukraine.

The U.K. became the first country to begin supplying Ukraine with long-range cruise missiles, delivering several “Storm Shadow” cruise missiles May 11, according to CNN. The missiles have a range of 100 to 300 km and have been developed with advanced technology by the France-based MBDA missile systems

Helena Nakano-Trindade (’26) said she was happy to see the U.K. taking action to support Ukraine.

“The U.K. giving missiles to the Ukrainian government will be a game changer for them in terms of offense and strengthening their defense simultaneously,” Nakano-Trindade said. 

Similarly, Math Teacher John Leavey said he was glad but unsurprised to hear that the U.K. had supplied Ukraine with missiles.

“A lot of countries have been supplying Ukraine with different types of weapons,” Leavey said.  “The fact that we are the first to give missiles doesn’t surprise me, as England is a powerful country and Ukraine is one of our allies and part of the United Nations.”

World Languages Teacher Carlos Alvarez-Santos said he was initially worried since the weapons are intended for violence, although he recognizes that these missiles will aid Ukraine.

“When I first heard that England gave missiles to Ukraine, I was kind of concerned because these weapons will be used to kill people,” Alvarez-Santos said. “However, on the other hand, I understand that the war needs to end somehow, and if these missiles will help Ukraine, then it is for the best.”

Storm Shadow Missiles by ailish_herrmann

According to the BBC, Zelensky still believes Ukraine needs more preparation and weapons to  take back territories Russia has claimed. Ukraine is planning to launch their counteroffensive to regain land in the southern and east of Ukraine, according to CNN.

Leavey said he thinks these missiles will be successful in intimidating the Russians and allowing Ukraine to take back territories.

“The missiles will enable the Ukrainian nation to act on a counteroffensive against Vladimir Putin and the Russian military,” Leavey said. “I also think that the missiles will guarantee a successful counteroffensive against Russia and will push Russia out of the parts of Ukraine that they have occupied.”

Similarly, Alvarez-Santos said he hopes that the U.K. government made an informed decision that the missiles would support the Ukrainian army.

“My reaction was that if the U.K. has made the decision, it is a governmental decision,” Alvarez-Santos said. “So they probably have professionals behind the decision of helping Ukraine, so I trust that they know what is best.” 

In addition, Nakano-Trindade said she anticipates that the U.K. will continue to support the Ukrainian government and send military supplies.

“The United Kingdom is the first country to give missiles to Ukraine,” Nakano-Trindade said. “I hope this will start a trend and encourage other nations to do the same and start giving more support.” 

Leavey said he supports the U.K.’s involvement as helping their allies at war or in crisis is essential.

“It is important to support Ukraine under these circumstances,” Leavey said. “If giving them missiles is one way to help them, then that’s what we should do.”

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About the Contributor
Ailish Herrmann, Media Team
Ailish Herrmann ('26) is a member of the Media Team of The Standard in Advanced Journalism.

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