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

He said Harpoon shore-to-ship missiles would be operated alongside Ukrainian Neptune missiles to defend the coast, including the southern port of Odesa.

Serhiy Bratchuk, a spokesman for the Odesa regional military administration in southern Ukraine, said in an online post that “so many Harpoons have been handed over to us that we can sink the entire Russian Black Sea Fleet. Why not?”

Last month the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, sank after what Ukraine said was an anti-ship missile attack. Moscow says a fire sparked an ammunition blast.

After launching its invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24, Russia imposed a naval blockade on Ukrainian ports, hampering vital grain exports. It has also used its Black Sea fleet to launch missile attacks.

Reznikov said Ukraine had also received a range of heavy artillery pieces, including modified US-made M109 self-propelled howitzers that will allow the Ukrainian military to strike targets from longer distances.

Ukraine says it wants to secure deliveries of US-made long-range M270 multiple-rocket launchers.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine, working to boost weapons supplies, was approaching the point where it would outnumber the Russians technologically and in terms of its ability to strike.

By srtwa

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