Russian authorities claim Kiev’s attacks involving Western-supplied munitions have killed over 200 civilians since the start of the year.

Ukraine will step up its long-range strikes inside Russia, the chief of Britain’s defence staff has predicted. Admiral Tony Radakin also suggested that incoming Western aid will help Kiev gain the upper hand despite the “difficult” situation.

On Monday, the British government announced what it described as its largest-ever military aid package to Ukraine, worth £500 million ($617 million). It includes an undisclosed number of long-range Storm Shadow missiles.

Two days later, US President Joe Biden signed off on a massive defense aid package that envisages $61 billion for Kiev. The legislation had been deadlocked since last fall over political bickering in Congress.

While expressing gratitude to Washington, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told the Guardian on Wednesday that “no single package can stop the Russians,” with a long-term Western commitment needed for this.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov predicted that “these new batches of weapons… will not change the dynamics on the frontline.”

In an interview with the Financial Times published on Thursday, Radakin said that “as Ukraine gains more capabilities for the long-range fight… its ability to continue deep operations will [increasingly] become a feature” of the conflict.

READ MORE: Pentagon details shipment of military supplies to Ukraine

While acknowledging that “Russia has been able to conduct more effective long-range strikes than last year,” the British admiral warned against focusing on the current gloomy “snapshot.” He argued that long-term trends might favor Ukraine, as more Western weapons allow Kiev to “shape [the fighting] in much stronger ways than it has before.”

On Wednesday, several US media outlets, citing an anonymous US government official, reported that Washington had secretly provided Kiev with an unspecified number of longer-range ATACMS missiles in March.

Last September, the US opted to deliver only the mid-range modification of the rocket to Ukraine, citing risks of an uncontrollable escalation of the conflict.

The Ukrainian military allegedly used the new weapon, boasting a range of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles), last Wednesday, targeting a Russian airfield.

Earlier this month, Russia’s ambassador-at-large for Ukraine’s crimes, Rodion Miroshnik revealed that between January 1 and March 31, 201 Russian civilians, including 11 children, were killed in Ukrainian shelling of Russian territories, with hundreds more injured.

The diplomat claimed that Kiev’s forces mostly used Western-supplied shells in the attacks, accusing Ukraine’s backers of turning a blind eye.

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