Russia has claimed to be using laser weapons in its invasion of Ukraine, prompting Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to compare the state to the Nazis during the end of World War II.
Deputy Prime Minister in charge of military development in Russia, Yury Borisov, told a conference on Wednesday that a laser weapon called Peresvet was already operational and being deployed in Ukraine. A drone is claimed to have burned up from 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) away in five seconds in a test on Tuesday.
Named after a Russian Orthodox monk who fought in single combat at the opening of the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380, in which both combatants were killed, the Peresvet weapon was first mentioned by President Putin in 2018.
In favorable weather conditions, it is claimed that the bulky weapon can be used to shoot down drones, although the large power draw makes them unsuitable as a man-portable weapon. The deputy prime minister claimed that lasers can be used to blind satellites.
“It is already being supplied en masse to (missile) troops, and it can blind all satellite reconnaissance systems of a likely enemy in orbits of up to 1,500 km, rendering them useless in flight due to the use of laser radiation,” he said. saying.
Borisov also claimed that a new laser weapon called “Zadira” has also been deployed in Ukraine.
“If Peresvet blinds, then the new generation of laser weapons leads to the physical destruction of the target – thermal destruction, they burn,” Reuters reports he told Russian state television, adding that “the first prototypes are already being used there.” . Borisov went on to state that the new generation of weapons used a wide electromagnetic band and would one day completely replace conventional weapons.
Although it may sound like science fiction, laser weapons have also been developed in the US and have been shown to successfully shoot down drones during tests.
President Zelensky was unimpressed by the claims of new weapons, comparing the propaganda to that of the Nazis at the end of World War II, when it became clear they were going to lose.
“The more it became clear that they had no chance in the war, the more propaganda there was about an incredible weapon that would be powerful enough to ensure a tipping point,” Zelensky responded to the claim.
“And so we see that in the third month of a full-scale war, Russia is trying to find its ‘wonder weapon’… all this clearly shows the total failure of the mission.”