President Emmanuel Macron has fulfilled his promise to provide Ukraine with the French variant of the Storm Shadow missile, known as SCALP-EG. Footage released by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry shows Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky posing for a photo with a rocket marked as SCALP-EG. Macron had announced in May that Ukraine would receive “long-range missiles,” and reaffirmed this commitment at the NATO summit in July.
In the video, Zelensky is seen signing a missile attached to a Su-24 jet. The projectile is adorned with the SCALP-EG markings in French flag colors, as well as a combination of the Ukrainian coat of arms and the Eiffel Tower. The exact number of missiles delivered and the date of delivery remain unclear.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry referred to the missiles by their British name, Storm Shadow, and implied that the Zelensky-signed missile was used in a recent strike on two bridges connecting the Crimean Peninsula to Russia’s Kherson Region. The ministry released another video suggesting that Russian missiles and aircraft had searched for Ukrainian planes and the SCALP-EG missiles before finally finding them in Chonhar and near Henichesk.
The Storm Shadow / SCALP-EG missile is a long-range air-launched cruise missile with a range of approximately 250 kilometers. It was developed in the 1990s and has been used in various Western military operations, including the NATO intervention in Libya and joint strikes in Syria conducted by the US, UK, and France in 2018.
This is not the first time Ukraine has used the Storm Shadow missiles. They were previously supplied by the UK and have been used to target civilian facilities. According to Russian officials, the missiles were fired at two civilian plants in the Russian city of Lugansk in May, resulting in injuries to several people, including six children.
On Saturday, Ukraine launched around 12 Storm Shadows / SCALP-EGs at bridges connecting Crimea to the Kherson Region. Despite Russian air defenses, at least three missiles successfully made it through, causing damage to two bridges across the Strait of Chongar and the Tonkiy Strait. The attack also resulted in damage to a rural school and a local gas pipeline, cutting off the gas supply to the nearby town of Genichesk. The affected bridges are primarily civilian infrastructure and have had minimal military use.
In summation, President Macron has delivered the promised French missiles to Ukraine, which have been used in recent strikes on civilian infrastructure in Crimea. The ongoing conflict in the region continues to escalate tensions between Ukraine and Russia, with both sides engaging in military actions that have significant implications for the civilian population and regional stability.