KEY POINTS

  • Putin had unveiled a similar weapon, Peresvet, in 2018
  • Peresvet could blind satellites up to 1,500 km above Earth
  • Ukrainian president Zelensky mocked the "wonder weapons" 

Russia has said it was using advanced mobile laser systems that are capable of shooting down drones and blind orbiting satellites. This hints at Kremlin's bid to launch powerful new weapons to take on Western arms flooding Ukraine. 

Though not much is known about the new weapons, the new system has reportedly entered service. A report by Reuters said Russian President Vladimir Putin had earlier unveiled Peresvet in 2018 with similar features.

According to Yury Borisov, the deputy prime minister in charge of military development, Peresvet was already being widely deployed, and can blind satellites up to 1,500 km above Earth.

He told a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday that Russia had other powerful systems that could burn up drones and other equipment. He cited a test wherein the weapon burned up a drone 5 km 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. He added that the first prototypes are already being used in Ukraine, and is called "Zadira". 

A Pro-Russia military website Avia.Pro also mentioned the weapons. It quoted Borisov, who claimed the "new generation of laser weapons already causes physical damage to the object by burning through it so that we do not waste expensive missiles, such as Pantsir and Tor. "

However, the news of the weapon was met with ridicule by Ukrainian president Vlodomyr Zelensky who mockingly compared it to the "wonder weapons" that Nazi Germany unveiled to prevent defeat in World War Two.

"The clearer it became they had no chance in the war, the more propaganda there was about the wonder weapon, which would be so powerful that it would provide a turning point in the war.

And here we see that in the third month of a full-scale war, Russia is trying to find its "wunderwaffe". Allegedly laser. All this clearly indicates the complete failure of the invasion,"  he said in a late-night video address.

He added that Russia was afraid to admit that catastrophic mistakes were made at the highest levels and hence will come up with more and more "wunderwaffe" as Ukraine liberates its land step by step.

According to Reuters, Borisov's remarks indicate that Russia has made significant progress with laser weapons, an area where other nuclear powers such as the United States and China show considerable interest.

President Vladimir Putin blamed Kyiv and the West as he defended Russia's military action in Ukraine Representation. Photo: AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV