Tweeting a picture of a British NLAW anti-tank missile, the country’s Defence Ministry tweeted: “Kyiv territorial defence have NLAW. Welcome to hell.” The UK supplied with former Soviet country with 2,000 of the next-generation weapons last month, as well as training on how to use them.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has already said they have “already proven to be invaluable” in the two-day-old conflict.
An unknown number of the single-use “fire-and-forget” weapons have already been used as Russia’s invasion has grinded to a spluttering pace.
And with the conflict still in the balance, military expert George Allison said that Ukraine will make Russia “pay for every inch”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, the founder of industry magazine Defence Journal revealed that Putin’s 190,000-strong force is facing a vastly different Ukrainian Army than in 2014 when the initial conflict erupted.
READ MORE: Putin ‘fantasy’ burst as Russian military facing ‘heavy’ casualties
“Whilst Russian forces initially captured the airport after three hours of fighting, a Ukrainian counteroffensive by the 4th Rapid Reaction Brigade of the National Guard ensued, in which the defending Russian airborne troops were encircled at the airport and destroyed.
“Russian forces in the north of the country appeared to have been heavily engaged by the Ukrainian military.
“Russian units were attempting to encircle Kyiv and advance into Kharkiv, but were bogged down in heavy fighting, with accounts on the ground suggesting that some Russian armoured columns had been ambushed and obliterated thanks to the modern weapons given to Ukraine.
NLAW anti-tank weapons given to Ukraine by the UK & Javelins from the US are very effectively helping Ukrainian defenders to stop large numbers of Russian tanks.
“In fact, former Ukrainian President Poroshenko is currently on the streets of Kyiv with 300 troops preparing to fight Russia’s invasion and they’re proudly parading the fact that they’re armed with British NLAW weapons in order to take on Russian armoured forces.
“Ukrainian troops are using UK supplied NLAWs alongside RPGs in engagements with Russian tanks and reports from the ground suggest they’re making a significant difference and rapidly grinding the Russian advance down.
In the 2014 invasion of Crimea, Ukrainian troops largely relied on RPGs, now they have serious, modern firepower and the Russians are paying a heavy price for every inch of Ukrainian land.”