World

Russia's laser weapon claim derided as propaganda

May 20, 2022 8:00 am

[Source: BBC News]

Russia claims to have used laser weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine, although the US says it has seen no evidence of this and Ukraine has derided it as propaganda.

Yury Borisov, the deputy prime minister in charge of military development, told Russian TV that a laser prototype called Zadira was being deployed in Ukraine and had burned up a Ukrainian drone within five seconds at a distance of 5km (three miles).

This was in addition to a previous laser system called Peresvet – named after a medieval Orthodox warrior monk – which could be used to dazzle satellites orbiting high above Earth and prevent them from gathering information.

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“If Peresvet blinds, then the new generation of laser weapons lead to the physical destruction of the target – thermal destruction, they burn up,” Mr Borisov said.

However, an official with the US Department of Defense said he had not seen “anything to corroborate reports of lasers being used” in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mocked the Russian claim, comparing it to the so-called “wonder weapons” that Nazi Germany claimed to be developing during World War Two.

“The clearer it became that they had no chance in the war, the more propaganda there was about an amazing weapon that would be so powerful as to ensure a turning point,” he said in a video address.

“And so we see that in the third month of a full-scale war, Russia is trying to find its ‘wonder weapon’… this all clearly shows the complete failure of the mission.”