Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday derided Russia’s claims this week that it had deployed a laser weapon in Ukraine as a sign of its “complete failure” in the war.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov told Russian state media that Moscow had deployed a laser weapon dubbed “Zadira” for use by its military units in Ukraine.
Borisov alleged the laser weapon could incinerate targets up to three miles away within five seconds.
The claims have not been substantiated by senior U.S. defense officials.Zelenskyy chided the claims as Russia’s latest “wonder weapon” – alluding to the propagandist term “wunderwaffe” coined by Nazi Germany during World War II.
“This clearly indicates the complete failure of the invasion,” Zelenskyy said.
“The clearer it became [the Nazis] had no chance in the war, the more propaganda there was about the wonder weapon,” Zelenskyy added, explaining that the weapon was said to “be so powerful that it would provide a turning point in the war.”
Zelenskyy said the latest Kremlin claim shows it is “afraid to admit that catastrophic mistakes” have been made by both government and military officials.
Russia’s latest claim comes amid reports from western defense officials that Moscow has been frustrated by its lack of progress in Ukraine despite three months of fighting and has begun removing top military officials from their ranks.
U.S. defense officials have repeatedly said the war in Ukraine is not going according to Putin’s plans, who likely believed his “special military operation” in Ukraine would have concluded in a matter of weeks.
A senior U.S. defense official told reporters Wednesday that Russia is making “incremental progress in the direction of the Black Sea.”
The official noted that Russian forces in eastern Ukraine have begun to target smaller objectives in an attempt to accomplish their ultimate goal of “full control” over the region.
But the official said Russian forces are still experiencing logistical problems and communication barriers between commanders remain an issue.
“They have not corrected their coordination issues,” the official said.