Russia vows to target British weapons and accuses Britain of escalating war in Ukraine as tensions rage

RUSSIA has warned Britain that arms shipped to Ukraine will be a “legitimate target”.

The threat comes from the country’s British ambassador, who has also accused Britain of escalating the war by supplying arms to Kyiv.

Russian troops in the city of Mariupol


Russian troops in the city of MariupolPhoto credit: Reuters
A Russian helicopter was shot down by a British missile


A Russian helicopter was shot down by a British missile
The wreckage of the helicopter after the crash


The wreckage of the helicopter after the crash
The missile is fired by British soldiers during a training exercise


The missile is fired by British soldiers during a training exerciseCredit: PA

The UK has already sent thousands of anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has agreed to send more after a conference hosted by military donors to the country.

“All arms shipments are destabilizing, especially those mentioned by Wallace,” Ambassador Andrey Kelin said.

“They exacerbate the situation and make it even bloodier. Apparently these are new, high-precision weapons.

“Of course, if these supplies cross the Ukrainian border, our armed forces will consider them a legitimate target.”

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It comes after Ukrainian forces blew up a helicopter out of the sky with a British missile for the first time.

Dramatic footage shows the moment the Mi-28N is hit by the star streak in the Luhansk region of the East Ukraine.

The Starstreak is the world’s fastest surface-to-air missile, capable of traveling at three times the speed of sound.

Defense Ministry sources said it was the first time the missile had been used to down a Russian plane.

In the video, the helicopter can be seen skimming the treetops before being hit in the tail by the Starstreak.

The missile can be seen flying through the trees toward its target.

The rear of the helicopter then bursts into flames and detaches as the helicopter crashes to earth.

Other footage shows the plane wreckage strewn across a street while being inspected by Ukrainian troops.

The two crew members on board the helicopter are said to have survived the downing, although it is unclear whether they were captured by the Ukrainians.

Defense sources who examined the video of the Russian helicopter reportedly believe it was the result of a starstreak.

It comes as…

Britain announced on March 9 that it would supply the high-speed portable missiles to the Ukrainians.

Manufactured in Belfast, the missiles can be shoulder-mounted or attached to a vehicle, and each missile is split into three darts to pierce armor before the warheads detonate.

The Starstreak is not a “fire and forget” system like other anti-aircraft missiles.

The arrows are guided to targets by an operator on the ground, but this makes it difficult for the enemy to deploy countermeasures.

Ukrainian troops have been training with Britain’s top Starstreak operators at a secret location in a neighboring country.

The aim of the intensive training was to get them fit for using the missiles in combat with a two to three-week intensive course.

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace previously said the Starstreak system is ready to be deployed immediately.

He told Sky News last night: “There will be more lethal aid to Ukraine.

“Ukraine needs longer range artillery and that is because of what the Russian army has done, which is now digging in and starting to bombard these cities with artillery.

“The best antidote to this is other long-range artillery [Ukraine will] Find and get more long-range artillery, mostly ammo.

“They are also looking for armored vehicles of some types – not necessarily tanks, but certainly protection vehicles and more anti-aircraft vehicles [weapons].

“All of this will emerge as a result of this conference.”

The UK recently said it would ship an additional 6,000 anti-tank missiles and explosive weapons to Ukraine to help “keep the flame of freedom alive”.

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The latest arms shipment means Britain has more than doubled its total number of guns sent there to 10,000, just days after Ukraine warned they were quickly running out.

Britain has already delivered 4,000 anti-tank guns – including Next generation light anti-tank weapon systems or NLAWs and Javelin missiles.

The missile is fired at the helicopter


The missile is fired at the helicopter
The tail of the helicopter was blown off by the rocket


The tail of the helicopter was blown off by the rocket
The Starstreak is the world's fastest surface-to-air missile


The Starstreak is the world’s fastest surface-to-air missileCredit: Unknown, clear with picture desk

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Bobby Allyn

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