Russia claims Friday that it has used powerful laser weapons in its brutal war on Ukraine; Moscow says it has used ‘next generation’ weapons to fire drones fired by Ukrainian forces. The weapons used are believed to include a mobile laser system first announced by Vladimir Putin in 2018, and Russia claims it will blind satellites in orbit and destroy drones.
The news of using Russian lasers has heightened fears about the use of advanced weapons such as the Kinjal Hypersonic Missile or nuclear or chemical weapons. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky has appeared (without a doubt) and blamed Russia for comparing the laser weapons to the “wonderful weapons” promised by Nazi Germany to prevent defeat in World War II.
What do we know about Russia’s latest weapons systems
> In 2018, Putin unveiled an array of new and deadly weapons, including an intercontinental ballistic missile, underwater nuclear drones, a supersonic weapon and a laser system.
> It is not clear how many laser weapons systems Russia will order; At least two names have been circulated – Peresvet and Zadira.
> Peresvet – named for Alexander Peresvet, a medieval warrior monk – is the weapon that Putin unveiled in 2018. Little is known about the weapon or its capabilities. Military experts say the tit can be used against drones or unmanned aerial vehicles but can be prevented by bad weather.
> On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, who is in charge of military development, said that Peresvet had been deployed and that it would blind satellites up to 1,500 km above the Earth.
From caliber missiles to smarch rockets, these are some of the weapons Russia uses in Ukraine
> Borisov warned of even more powerful laser weapons systems – such as drones and other equipment that could be burned – and suggested that it was deployed in Ukraine. “… The first prototypes are already being used there,” he said, adding that the weapon is called Zadira.
> “If the Peresvet blinds, the new generation of laser weapons will cause physical destruction of the target – thermal destruction, they will burn,” he told Russian state television. Borisov claims that the military test (which was not independently verified) destroyed a drone five kilometers away in five seconds.
> Like Peresvet, little is known about Zadira. However, in 2017, the Russian media is helping the state nuclear corporation develop a laser weapon as part of a program to create new physical principles based on the Rosatom weapon, Reuters reported.
> The retired Australian Army Major General told the Washington Post that weapons such as Zadira could, in fact, remove recon drones or Ukrainian artillery and even use it to blind Ukrainian soldiers. However, the latter strategy was banned under the International Convention, he said.
With input from Reuters