Latvian state media is confirming that Stinger shoulder fired anti-air missiles have been delivered to Kiev, at a moment the US and Western backers of Ukraine are again warning that a full-scale Russian invasion is "imminent".
Public broadcast media cited the Latvian Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, which said the delivery would "strengthen the air defense capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the ability to protect its population from Russian aggression."
"Latvia supports Ukraine's and Ukrainians' efforts to protect their country, so we have sent a gift - the Stinger missile system, so that, if necessary, the Ukrainian armed forces can protect their citizens, schools, hospitals and kindergartens," a top Latvian official who reportedly oversaw the Stinger delivery said.
Baltic NATO allies earlier this month confirmed they would step up coordinating weapons deliveries to Ukraine amid Western fears of a Russian invasion - however which Moscow has consistently denied that it has plans for.
The Stinger delivery marks the first time Latvia is going beyond what are typically dubbed mere "defensive" weapons. The FIM-92 Stinger, a man-portable air-defense system, are most definitely the offensive weapon of choice typically used by US and NATO proxies against low flying enemy aircraft operating below 11,000 feet. The missile tracks aircraft by locking on to its heat signature from the aircraft engine exhaust.
The deliver to Kiev comes the day after President Joe Biden in a speech promised more 'defensive aid' to Ukraine. "I have authorized additional movements of US forces and equipment, already stationed in Europe, to strengthen our Baltic allies, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania," Biden said in the Tuesday televised speech. "Let me be clear, these are totally defensive moves on our part."
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Below: US military Stinger live-fire exercise...