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President Volodymyr Zelensky during his evening address on March 10, 2024. (President's Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed Pope Francis' comments urging Ukrainians to have the "courage of the white flag," saying on March 10 that Europe's safety is currently guaranteed by troops fighting under Ukraine's flag.

The remarks follows Pope Francis' suggestion on March 9 that Ukrainians consider negotiating with Russia.  

"I think that the strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, who thinks about the people, who has the courage of the white flag, to negotiate," Pope Francis said.

Zelensky responded in his nightly address without mentioning the pope directly.

"Russian murderers and torturers are not moving further into Europe only because they are being held back by Ukrainians with weapons in their hands and under the blue and yellow flag," he said.

Zelensky's frustration with the pope's comments came through in his praise for the bravery of Ukraine's military chaplains.

“This is what the church is – it is together with people, not two-and-a-half thousand kilometers away somewhere, virtually mediating between someone who wants to live and someone who wants to destroy you," he said.

Zelensky went on to thank French President Emmanuel Macron for his leadership and support. He said the two leaders held a lengthy phone call on March 10 and discussed the agenda for their upcoming meeting in Ukraine.

Macron has emerged as one of the West's most vocal supporters of Ukraine, calling for the necessity of a military victory over Russia rather than ceasefire negotiations. Zelensky and Macron signed an agreement on security cooperation on February 16, with Macron pledging to support Ukraine’s NATO and EU aspirations.

Zelensky also said that in March alone, Ukrainian air defense units have shot down 151 drones out of 175 fired.

“Yes, not all of them," he said. "Yes, there are hits. Unfortunately, there are losses. There are casualties. But there are also people saved.”

Russian forces have used thousands of Shahed drones to target Ukrainian cities since February 2022.

After 10 years of war, Krasnohorivka in new danger as Russia advances in the east
Editor’s note: Due to fear caused by the tense environment in Krasnohorivka and the possibility of their city being occupied by Russian forces in the future, some subjects interviewed declined to give their last names. KRASNOHORIVKA, DONETSK OBLAST – On the streets of the small industrial city of K…


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