US Patriot battery halts Russian missile barrage on Kyiv; Zelenskyy lobbies for F-16s: Live updates

Ukrainian air defenses bolstered by the recently deployed, U.S.-built Patriot batteries shot down a savage barrage of Russian missiles targeting Kyiv early Tuesday, inspiring hope that the battered nation's capital city can be shielded from Moscow's unrelenting attacks.

Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander in chief of Ukraine's Armed Forces, said Russia launched six hypersonic "Kinzhal" missiles from MiG jets, nine cruise missiles from ships in the Black Sea and three land-based S-400 cruise missiles. Ukraine's air defenses downed them all, he said, along with six Iranian-made "kamikaze drones" and three reconnaissance drones.

"Another unbelievable success for the Ukrainian Air Forces!" tweeted Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. "Russian terrorists have no chance of prevailing over Ukraine. Their weapons can and should be countered by Western ones."

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said a Patriot missile battery was destroyed by a Kinzhal missile, but Ukraine officials declined to address the claim.

Russia launched its latest attack around 3:30 a.m from the north, south and east, the Air Force said. Debris from the destruction caused some damage and started fires. Mayor Vitali Klitschko said three people were injured in Solomianskyi district, where debris ignited a fire that damaged four buses and a garage.

"A full-on aerial attack on Kyiv last night, pretty intense," tweeted Melinda Simmons, Britain's ambassador to Ukraine. "Bangs and shaking walls are not an easy night. Hope everyone is ok."

In this photo provided by the Ukrainian Emergency Situations Ministry, firefighters extinguish blazes caused by fragments of a Russian rocket after it was shot down by an air defense system during on May 16, 2023.


∙ South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol met Tuesday with Ukraine first lady Olena Zelenska in Seoul, vowing to expand his country’s non-lethal aid including ambulances and mine detection and removal equipment.

∙ Ukraine Marine commander Kostyantyn Bezsmertny has been charged with treason, accused of persuading 277 soldiers to surrender to Russian troops as prisoners of war, Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation said.

∙ Almost 200,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded since the war began almost 15 months ago, the Ukraine military said. It does not release its own casualty count.

Russian mercenary leader says American has died in Bakhmut

The leader of Russia's powerful mercenary force in the Bakhmut region says an American has died in the embattled Ukrainian city. Yevgeny Prigozhin posted a video on Telegram showing the body and an ID that reveals a name. Prigozhin said his team was preparing the remains for transfer to American authorities. The U.S. State Department released a statement saying U.S. officials are aware of the reports and are seeking additional information.

"Our ability to verify reports of deaths of U.S. citizens in Ukraine is extremely limited," the statement says. "We offer our condolences to the families of all whose lives have been lost as a result of Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine."

The statement also urged U.S. citizens not to travel to Ukraine.

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