US supplies Ukraine with Man-portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) that can take down aircraft

Despite Moscow’s warnings, the United States and NATO are shipping air defence weapons into Ukraine, including highly sensitive items such as shoulder-fired missiles called man-portable air defence systems (MANPADS) that can take down aircrafts.

Another round of arms deliveries from the West is expected to arrive Kyiv in few hours. These arms are expected to help Ukraine fight Russian forces more effectively.

The West has however acknowledged that moving those amounts of weaponry into the largest conflict in Europe carries with it risks that some could fall into Russian hands.

A senior US defence official said that this risk is however worth taking.

“Frankly, we believe that risk is worth taking right now because the Ukrainians are fighting so skillfully with the tools at their disposal and they’re using them so creatively.”

Russia said on Saturday its troops could target supplies of Western weapons in Ukraine.

“We warned the United States that the orchestrated pumping of weapons from a number of countries is not just a dangerous move, it is a move that turns these convoys into legitimate targets,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said.

During a meeting of Russia’s Security Council on Friday, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said Russia is considering the seizures of Western-made Javelin anti-tank weapons and Stingers in the future.  According to Sergey, the seized weapons should be handed to Russian-backed forces in the breakaway Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has opened supported this idea.

“As to the delivery of arms, especially Western-made ones which have fallen into the hands of the Russian army – of course, I support the possibility of giving these to the military units of the Lugansk and Donetsk people’s republics.” Putin said.

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