LONDON (Agencies): In response to the escalating conflict, the UK Defense Ministry announced on Friday that it will dispatch an additional 200 missiles to Kiev. This decision follows a significant surge in Russian attacks on Ukrainian targets.

The UK, in the previous year, had developed ground-launched Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles (ASRAAM) systems tailored to the requirements of the Ukrainian military. The ministry stated that it had trained Kiev’s troops on their operation.

The UK Defense Ministry revealed that it has already supplied Kiev with military aid worth £4.6 billion ($5.86 billion), with an additional £2.3 billion earmarked for Ukraine until the end of the financial year on March 31.

Ukraine reported that it experienced the largest Russian drone and missile attack since the conflict began in February 2022 on Thursday and Friday, detecting a minimum of 158 projectiles. According to Kiev, 27 drones and 87 cruise missiles were intercepted. The attack reportedly resulted in 30 fatalities and 160 injuries.

The Russian Defense Ministry verified that it had executed 50 “group” strikes and a single “massive” assault with UAVs and high-precision weapons against defense industry sites, military airfields, arms depots, and troop positions. It added that all targets were successfully hit.

Vassily Nebenzia, Moscow’s representative to the UN, attributed the civilian casualties to malfunctioning air defense systems supplied by the West, which he claimed Ukraine deliberately deployed in residential areas. “It is difficult to imagine greater cynicism. If not for the work of the Ukrainian air defense, there would have been no civilian casualties,” Nebenzia stated.

UK Defense Secretary Grant Shapps, commenting on the missile attack, asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is testing Ukraine’s defenses and the West’s resolve, hoping that he can clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. But he is wrong.”

“Now is the time for the free world to come together and redouble our efforts to get Ukraine what they need to win,” he said.

Moscow has consistently cautioned that the US, UK, and their allies supplying weapons to Ukraine will only extend the fighting and heighten the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO. It also argued that the provision of arms, intelligence-sharing, and training of Ukrainian troops implies that Western nations have already become de facto parties to the conflict.

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