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Featured Image Credit: Ukraine Presidency/Ukraine Presidency/Alamy. New Line Cinema.
President Zelenskyy has brushed off Russia’s claim they have tested a powerful laser weapons system to aid their invasion of Ukraine.
ABC News reports the Ukrainian leader compared such lasers to the so-called ‘wonder weapons’ that Nazi Germany threatened to unveil 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 late-night 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."
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov said in Moscow the two laser systems were being shipped off to Ukraine.
One of those systems is called the Peresvet, named after the medieval Orthodox monk Alexander Peresvet who died in combat, according to BBC News.
"If Peresvet blinds, then the new generation of laser weapons lead to the physical destruction of the target - thermal destruction, they burn up," he said.
The other laser system is Zadira, which he claimed destroyed a Ukrainian drone within seconds from a 5km (three miles) distance during a test run.
While little is known about the Zadira lasers, Reuters reports that Russian media said in 2017 that nuclear power company Rosatom helped create the system as part of a new program to design weapons on new physical principles.
Despite threats of a new laser system, a US Department of Defence official said that he had not seen ‘anything to corroborate reports of lasers being used’ in Ukraine, according to BBC News.
An international security expert also told The Guardian that Russia would not use its lasers as they pose too much of a threat to starting a nuclear disaster.
They said: “Nothing is being used as far I understand. Russia won’t be using the Zadira or Peresvet lasers in Ukraine.
“The problem is that these lasers are using nuclear power, which means that if Ukraine would target the installations, it would lead to a small nuclear disaster, exposing the Russian soldiers to radioactive material.”
They added: “I believe this is just a lot of hype. I don’t think Russia would move their laser systems to Ukraine with all the risks involved."