Printed on Mon Jul 04 2022 2:31:54 AM

Russia using new generation of laser weapons in Ukraine

International desk

Russia has been using a new generation of strong lasers in Ukraine to burn up drones, according to a high-ranking government official.

Yury Borisov, the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of military development, said the deployment of some of Moscow's secret weapons was in part to counter a flood of Western arms.

Little is known about the specifics of the new laser but in 2018 President Vladimir Putin mentioned one called Peresvet, named after a medieval Orthodox warrior monk Alexander Peresvet who perished in mortal combat.

Mr. Borisov told a conference in Moscow on Wednesday that Peresvet was already being widely deployed and it could blind satellites up to 1,500km above Earth.

He said there were already more powerful systems than Peresvet that could burn up drones and other equipment.

Mr. Borisov also cited a test on Tuesday that he said had burned up a drone 5km away within five seconds.

"If Peresvet blinds, then the new generation of laser weapons lead to the physical destruction of the target — thermal destruction, they burn up," he told Russian state television.

Asked if such weapons were being used in Ukraine, Mr. Borisov said: "Yes. The first prototypes are already being used there."

He said the weapon was called "Zadira".


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