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Russo-Ukrainian war, day 746: “No white flag, only yellow and blue” – Ukraine rebuffs Pope’s remarks

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is leading a chorus of Ukrainian criticism against Pope Francis’ suggestion that Kyiv should raise the “white flag” and negotiate an end to Russia’s invasion.
Russo-Ukrainian war, day 746: “No white flag, only yellow and blue” – Ukraine rebuffs Pope’s remarks


To win in a war of attrition, Ukraine should mobilize women, report argues. As casualties mount and draft-eligible men dwindle, a Ukrainian report is sparking debate over mobilizing women to sustain the nation’s defense against Russia’s protracted invasion, citing Britain’s auxiliary forces that freed 450,000 men in World War II.
Pope urges Ukraine to raise the white flag, sparking controversy. The Pope’s ambiguous statements on the conflict, often failing to clearly identify Russia as the aggressor, have led some to question the Vatican’s understanding of the situation in Ukraine.


Russia shells Donetsk Oblast, killing three civilians. Two people killed in Dobropillia, one more in Chasiv Yar.

Ukrainians might have hit Russia’s third A-50 radar plane, but ISW can’t confirm it yet. Reports suggest Ukrainian drone strikes overnight targeted a Russian aircraft plant in Rostov Oblast that refurbishes and modernizes A-50 radar planes, but ISW can’t confirm the damage.

ISW says it can’t confirm Russia’s alleged destruction of Ukrainian Patriot system. Russia claimed to have destroyed a US-supplied Patriot air defense system in eastern Ukraine, but ISW has not confirmed this yet.

Shahed drone attack hit industrial facility in Odesa, caused blackout in Mykolaiv. Russia also targeted Kharkiv and Donetsk oblasts with S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

As of 10 Mar 2024, the approximate losses of weapons and military equipment of the Russian Armed Forces from the beginning of the invasion to the present day:

      • Personnel: 424060 (+900)
      • Tanks: 6731 (+19)
      • APV: 12850 (+27)
      • Artillery systems: 10466 (+38)
      • MLRS: 1015 (+3)
      • Anti-aircraft systems: 709 (+2)
      • Aircraft: 347
      • Helicopters: 325
      • UAV: 8082 (+41)
      • Cruise missiles : 1919
      • Warships/boats: 26
      • Submarines: 1
      • Vehicles and fuel tanks: 13752 (+69)

Intelligence and technology

UK intel: Ukraine ramps up defensive fortifications across front lines. British intelligence reports that Ukraine constructs extensive defensive lines that will hinder Russian advances and offensive operations, requiring high-casualty breaching attempts.


“NATO troops already in Ukraine”, Polish FM reveals. Earlier, Radoslaw Sikorski said that the possibility of NATO troops in Ukraine “is not unthinkable.”

Italy opposes sending NATO troops to Ukraine. Earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron and Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski have expressed openness to the idea of sending Western troops to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy rebukes Pope’s “white flag” remark. The Pope’s remarks have sparked widespread condemnation from Ukraine and its allies, with many interpreting them as a call for Ukraine to surrender.

Ukraine’s Ambassador to discuss “fundamental points” with Pope Francis. Pope Francis has faced criticism for suggesting that Ukraine should raise the ‘white flag’ and negotiate with Russia to end the war.

Ukrainian FM tells Pope: “Our flag is yellow and blue. No others will fly”. Pope Francis has faced criticism for suggesting that Ukraine should have the courage to raise the “white flag” and negotiate an end to the war with Russia.

“We must speak Russia’s language of power balance”, says French FM. Séjourné stressed the importance of speaking to Moscow in its own terms, emphasizing the need for a strong stance against increasing Russian aggression.

Polish farmers plan temporary reprieve from Korczowa border checkpoint blockade until 13 March. Polish farmers announce a temporary suspension of their blockade at one checkpoint on Ukraine’s border, with all six border checkpoints blocked, indirectly benefiting Russia by disrupting Ukrainian trade amid ongoing tensions.

Humanitarian and social impact

Russia destroying churches, persecuting clergy in occupied Ukraine, church leader warns. Russia’s full-scale Ukraine invasion extinguishing religious freedom through church destruction, clergy arrests/killings, prompting church leader’s appeal for unblocked US aid.

Media: Kremlin sacks Russian Navy Chief. Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, who commanded the Russian Navy for nearly 5 years, is reportedly being replaced by Admiral Alexander Moiseev.

Ukraine arrests Russian collaborator involved in deportation of civilians in Kherson. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has apprehended a Russian collaborator in Kherson who helped Moscow to deport Ukrainians from the region. The suspect also forced Ukrainian citizens to obtain Russian passports.

New developments

The Sunday Times: Johnson holds secret meeting with Maduro in Venezuela to discuss Russia’s war in Ukraine. In February 2024, Boris Johnson secretly flew to Venezuela for unofficial talks with its autocratic leader, Nicolás Maduro, to discuss Russia’s war in Ukraine, sources told The Sunday Times.

US to launch reconstruction partnership for Ukraine in June 2024. On 6 March, the US Department of State and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) revealed the establishment of the Ukraine Cities Partnership (UCP) for Sustainable Urban Recovery. This public-private partnership aims to assist Ukraine in redesigning and reconstructing its cities amid Russia’s war.

Read our earlier daily review here.

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