Is Russia fielding laser weapons in Ukraine? Pentagon does not think so

Rosatom's logo
Participants are seen at the stand of Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom during the International military-technical forum "Army-2021" at Patriot Congress and Exhibition Centre in Moscow Region, Russia August 23, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - The Pentagon said on Friday there were no indications that Russia had used laser weaponry in Ukraine, following claims by Moscow that it was fielding a new generation of powerful lasers there to strike enemy drones.

"We don't have any indication of the use of lasers, at least weaponized lasers, in Ukraine. Nothing to confirm on that," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing.

Yury Borisov, Russia's deputy prime minister in charge of military development, said earlier this week that Moscow had developed a new generation of laser weapons that would burn up their targets, with a prototype called "Zadira" being used in Ukraine. read more

Almost nothing is publicly known about Zadira but in 2017 Russian media said state nuclear corporation Rosatom helped develop it.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy mockingly compared reports about the Russian lasers to the so-called wonder weapons that Nazi Germany unveiled in a bid to prevent defeat in World War Two.

"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," Zelenskiy said on Wednesday. read more

Reporting by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali; Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.