Air Force: Ukraine shoots down 18 Russian missiles overnight, including 6 Kinzhals

Ukrainian air defense successfully shot down all of the 18 Russian missiles targeting Ukraine overnight, including six Kinzhal ballistic missiles, Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, and the Air Force said on May 16.

In addition to shooting down six Kinzhal missiles, Ukraine's air defense successfully took out nine Kalibr missiles and three land-based missiles, including both S-400 and Iskander-M missiles, the Air Force said.

The Air Force also said that it had also downed six Iranian-made Shahed-136/131 kamikaze drones and three reconnaissance drones that included Orlan-10 and SuperCam types.

Russia launched its latest attack around 3:30 a.m. on May 16 from the north, south, and east, the Air Force wrote.

Kinzhals are Russian-made hypersonic air-launched ballistic missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers. Previously, it was difficult for air defense to shoot them down.

However, the Air Force admitted on May 6 that it shot down a Kinzhal ballistic missile for the first time since the start of the war.

Ukraine received Patriot air defense systems at the end of April, which are considered one of the world's best air defense systems, and will enable Ukraine to shoot down more hypersonic ballistic missiles and prevent civilian casualties.

Kyiv was the primary target of last night's attack. The debris from missiles shot down over Kyiv caused fires and damages in several districts, the State Emergency Service reported on May 16.

The debris from the missiles fell in the Shevchenkivskyi, Sviatoshynskyi, Solomianskyi, Obolonskyi, and Darnytskyi districts in Kyiv.

The most damage occurred in the Solomianskyi district, where the debris caused a fire. Four buses and a garage the size of 200 square meters were affected.

According to Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko, three people were injured in the Solomianskyi district.

A nearby building was also damaged by a separate fire covering an area of 200 square meters, with scattered areas of fires covering a total area of 20 square meters. According to the State Emergency Service, all the fires were extinguished.

The damage caused by debris in other districts was less severe, "with most cases involving debris falling on parked cars, surrounding areas, or parks," the Emergency Service wrote.

Officials: 6 people killed in Russian attacks on Kharkiv, Donetsk oblasts

Six people were killed in Kharkiv and Donetsk oblasts over the past 24 hours by Russian attacks, Governors Oleh Syniehubov and Pavlo Kyrylenko reported on May 16.

In Kharkiv Oblast, a man and a woman in the village of Dvorichna were killed by shelling. Another man was hospitalized for his injuries.

Russian forces also shelled the city of Vovchansk. At least three homes, farm buildings, and a local hospital building were damaged.

Four homes and an undisclosed number of commercial buildings were also damaged by fires in the village of Tyshchenkivka, according to Syniehubov.

In Donetsk Oblast, four people were killed by Russian attacks in Avdiivka.

Three additional people were injured in Chasiv Yar, a town located a little over 15 kilometers to the west of Bakhmut, which has become the epicenter of fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops.

One person was also injured in Pervomaisk.

According to Kyrylenko, the body of a man who died during the occupation of Bohorodychne was also exhumed.

A total of 1,514 people in Donetsk Oblast have been killed since the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, and an additional 3,531 have been injured.

However, the official casualty numbers are likely much higher as these numbers don’t include casualties in Russian-occupied Mariupol and Volnovakha.

Media: Russia's FSB recruits former ISIS militants to be agents in Ukraine

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) has been recruiting former ISIS fighters over the years as their "agents" in countries like Ukraine, independent Russian media outlet Meduza reported on May 16.

According to Meduza, Baurzhan Kultanov, a native of Russia who went to Syria to fight for the Islamic State, became disillusioned when he realized that it was not fighting for Muslims but "creating chaos."

After two attempts, Kultanov left Syria for Turkey. He tried to apply for political asylum, but officials discovered his past involvement with ISIS, resulting in his being sent back to Russia.

Kultanov was given four years and four months in prison if he would cooperate with Russian intelligence, Meduza wrote.

Upon being released in 2019, Kultanov was told he would be sent to Ukraine, where they were "interested in having their agents." More specifically, Russian special services wanted him to infiltrate the Chechen and Tatar battalions fighting on the side of Ukraine.

Sources cited by Meduza said there are numerous cases of such "agents" in Ukraine and elsewhere where they are tasked with spying, trying to corrupt people of interest, or even committing contract killings.