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Ukraine rebuffs Pope Francis calling for talks with Russia

UKRAINE rebuffed Pope Francis’s call to negotiate an end to the war with Russia, with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy saying the pontiff was engaging in “virtual mediation” and his foreign minister saying Kyiv would never capitulate.

Francis said that when things were going badly for a party to a conflict one had to show the “courage of the white flag” and negotiate. The pope’s interview was believed to be the first time Francis has used terms like “white flag” or “defeated” in discussing the Ukraine war, though he has referred in the past to the need for talks.

Zelenskiy made no direct reference to Francis or his comments but mentioned religious figures helping inside Ukraine.

“They support us with prayer, with their discussion and with deeds. This is indeed what a church with the people is,” Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.


“Not 2,500 km away, somewhere, virtual mediation between someone who wants to live and someone who wants to destroy you.”

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, writing on the X messaging platform, said that the strong person in any dispute “stands on the side of good rather than attempting to put them on the same footing and call it ‘negotiations'”.

“Our flag is a yellow and blue one,” Kuleba wrote in English, referring to the Ukrainian national flag. “This is the flag by which we live, die, and prevail. We shall never raise any other flags.”

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By The African Mirror