On Tuesday, Ukrainian armed forces conducted the first-ever cruise missile test capable of hitting land and sea targets, National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov announced.
According to Turchynov, the cruise missile is locally made in Ukraine by manufacturers of the State Enterprise “State Kyiv Design Bureau Luch” in cooperation with other state and private defense companies.
Turchynov made further arrangements with the NSDC, which coordinates Ukraine’s national missile program, to further “develop not only ground-launched cruise missile systems but also sea- and air-launched.” Turchynov failed to disclose the range of the cruise missile but specified the missile systems are in line with its international agreements.
“This is a crucial event for Ukraine, because after the total disarmament of the Ukrainian army in accordance with the Budapest Memorandum, not a single missile was left in the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, said Turchynov.
“Today’s tests have opened a new stage of the missile program, according to which our Armed Forces must receive powerful high-performance cruise missiles that can accurately strike hostile targets at great distances,” he added.
Turchynov then suggests the new cruise missile system is an “important deterrent against the aggressor,” i.e. Russian forces in Crimea.
“The missile was not named by the authorities, but has been identified on the Defence Blog media outlet as the Neptune, based on the Soviet-designed Kh-35 introduced to the Russian military in 2003, the Kyiv Post reported. According to the Kyiv Post, the missile can sink warships with displacements of up to 5,000 tons of water – which would include all of Russia’s landing ships and frigates.”
Ukraine is in the middle of fighting Russian-backed terrorists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that started four years ago after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Lately, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry warned Russia to withdraw its troops from temporarily occupied territories of Georgia and Ukraine.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemns ratification by the State Duma of the Russian Federation of the agreement on the incorporation of certain units of the army of self-proclaimed South Ossetia into the Russian Armed Forces.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also condemns the opening of a customs office in Akhalgori (Tskhinvali region) by the Russian occupation authorities and the formation of a specialized customs point in Sukhumi in Abkhazia, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in its comments.
“This next provocative step is a continuation of the Kremlin’s policy of destabilizing the situation in the Black Sea region and undermining the architecture of European security. We urge the Russian Federation to fulfill its obligations under international law and withdraw all its armed formations and occupation administrations from the temporarily occupied territories of Georgia and Ukraine, the document says.
The sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU), the United States, Canada, and Japan on Russia to halt aggression against Ukraine have widely flunked. The United States knows it, and that is why Washington made a move to supply Ukrainian forces with anti-tank missiles in late 2017. Now, Ukraine is attempting to level the playing field with Russia with the introduction of supersonic cruise missiles. What could possibly go wrong?