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Ukraine’s Defense Minister said that Ukraine receives Harpoon missiles and howitzers

Ukraine's Defense Minister said that Ukraine receives Harpoon missiles and howitzers

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov attends a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kyiv, Ukraine on April 24, 2022. Photo taken on April 24, 2022. Ukraine Presidential Press Service / Handout via Reuters

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May 28 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said on Saturday that Ukraine had begun receiving Harpoon anti-ship missiles from Denmark and self-propelled howitzers from the United States, saying the weapons would support forces fighting the Russian invasion.

“The coastal defense of our country will not only be strengthened by Harpoon missiles – they will be used by Ukrainian trained teams,” Reznikov wrote on his Facebook page.

He said that the Harpoon land-to-ship missiles will be operated alongside Ukraine’s Neptune missiles to defend the country’s coasts, including the southern port of Odessa.

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After beginning its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russia imposed a naval blockade of Ukrainian ports, hampering vital grain exports.

It also used its Black Sea Fleet to launch missile attacks on Ukraine, which has since begun receiving Western military aid.

Reznikov said the Harpoon missile supplies were the result of cooperation between several countries, saying that deliveries from Denmark were made “with the participation of our British friends”.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Monday that Denmark will provide a launcher and missiles to Ukraine. Read more

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Reznikov said Ukraine has also received a batch of heavy artillery, including a modified US M109 self-propelled howitzer that will allow the Ukrainian military to hit targets from longer distances.

Last month, a senior US defense official said the US military had begun training a small number of Ukrainian forces to use howitzers, adding that the exercises were taking place outside Ukraine. Read more

Ukraine has said it wants to secure shipments of US-made M270 multi-range rocket launchers and use them to repel Russian forces in the east of the country.

Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon anti-ship missile that uses active radar guidance and flies over water to evade defenses. It can be launched from ships, submarines, aircraft or coastal batteries.

Russia says its forces are conducting a special operation to disarm Ukraine and rid it of anti-Russian ultra-nationalists. Ukraine and its allies regard this as a false excuse to invade Ukraine on February 24.

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(Covering) Aleksandar Vasovic Editing by Helen Popper

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