There are reports coming from Russia that the Russian military is creating a super weapon that has been dubbed the "zombie gun" due to its immobilizing effect on those who are targeted.
Critics fear that a weapon as powerful as this could be used not only against Russia's enemies, but also against the civilian population, including dissidents by the end of the decade.
Sources in Moscow have stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin described the new super weapon, which uses electromagnetic radiation which is similar to radiation found in common household microwaves, as "entirely new instruments for achieving political and strategic goals."
The source added that Putin feels the use of "such high-tech weapons systems will be comparable in effect to nuclear weapons, but will be more acceptable in terms of political and military ideology."
The announcement by Russian defense minister Anatoly Serdyukov regarding the implementation of these new weapons, made quickly and without much attention given from local media outlets, were part of a plan that fulfilled a campaign pledge by Putin.
Serdyukov said: "The development of weaponry based on new physics principles – direct-energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, genetic weapons, psychotropic weapons, and so on – is part of the state arms procurement program for 2011-2020."
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Specific proposals on developing the weapons are due to be presented before December by Russia's new Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
High doses of microwaves can damage the functioning of internal organs, control behavior or even drive victims to suicide, according to the head of the Military Forecasting Center in Moscow, Anatoly Tsyganok.
Tsyganok explained that this new weapon is highly effective, but admitted that more still needs to be understood of the weapon.
"When it was used for dispersing a crowd and it was focused on a man, his body temperature went up immediately as if he was thrown into a hot frying pan. Still, we know very little about this weapon and even special forces guys can hardly cope with it," said the official.