Russia claims to have used laser weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine, although the US says it has seen no evidence of this and Ukraine has derided it as propaganda.
What are laser weapons and how effective could they be in the conflict?
Yury Borisov, the deputy prime minister in charge of military development, told Russian TV that a laser prototype called Zadira was being deployed in Ukraine and had burned up a Ukrainian drone within five seconds at a distance of 5km.
This was in addition to a previous laser system called Peresvet – named after a medieval Orthodox warrior monk – which could be used to dazzle satellites orbiting high above Earth and prevent them from gathering information.
Mr Borisov said, “If Peresvet blinds, then the new generation of laser weapons lead to the physical destruction of the target – thermal destruction, they burn up.”
However, an official with the US Department of Defense said he had not seen “anything to corroborate reports of lasers being used” in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky mocked the Russian claim, comparing it to the so-called “wonder weapons” that Nazi Germany claimed to be developing during World War Two.