An Iranian-made drone flies over Kyiv, Ukraine during a Russian attack, October 17, 2022 (Sergei Supinsky/AFP)

Saturday’s Coverage: UN — Russia’s Systematic Use of Torture

Map: Institute for the Study of War


Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has responded to Pope Francis’s call on Ukraine to have the “courage to raise the white flag” and negotiate Russia’s invasion, occupation, and mass killings.

Our flag is a yellow and blue one. This is the flag by which we live, die, and prevail. We shall never raise any other flags.


Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni has clarified that Pope Francis did not mean that Ukraine should surrender to Russia, in controversial remarks made in February to the Swiss broadcaster RSI.

Portions of the interview were released on Saturday,Pope Francis was asked by a journalist:

In Ukraine there are those who call for the courage to surrender, to show the white flag. But others say it will give legitimacy to the one with more power. What do you think about it?

He replied:

This is an interpretation. But I believe that the stronger one is the one who sees the situation, the one who thinks about people, the one who has the courage to raise the white flag and negotiate. And today you can negotiate with the help of international powers.

The word “negotiations” is a bold word. When you see that you are losing, that things are not going well, you need to have the courage to negotiate.

Shame on you, but how many deaths will this end in?

Agree on time, look for a country that will act as a mediator. Today, for example, in the war in Ukraine, there are many who want to act as mediators. Turkey offered itself for this. And others. Don’t be ashamed to negotiate before the situation gets worse.

Bruni said the Pope had used the term “white flag”, because it was introduced by the journalist, “to signify the cessation of hostilities and the truce achieved through the courage of negotiations.”

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has implicitly responded:


In the first report of casualties from Russia’s overnight drone and missile attacks (see Original Entry), 11 people — a 16-year-old boy, five women, and five men aged 34 to 95 — have been injured in Myrnohrad in the Donetsk region.

Three of the wounded have been hospitalized.

Yurii Tretiak, acting head of the local administration, posted:

Three [S-300] missile strikes. Three craters in one location within a radius of 20 meters. Ten residential high-rise buildings are heavily damaged. One entrance of a nine-story building is damaged to the extent that it is uninhabitable and requires major restoration.

In southern Ukraine, a drone hit and set afire an industrial facility in Odesa. Another Shahed damaged power transmission lines in the Mykolaiv region, causing a blackout.


A 46-year-old man has been killed and four civilians injured in Russian shelling of Chasiv Yar and Ocheretynе in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine.

Three apartment buildings and three homes were damaged.

Chasiv Yar, is about 10 km (6 miles) west of the Russian-occupied city of Bakhmut.


A Russian student at Moscow State University has received a 10-day jail sentence after he renamed a Wi-Fi network “Slava Ukraini” (Glory to Ukraine).

On Thursday, a Moscow court found the student guilty of displaying “symbols of extremist organizations” and a “public demonstration of Nazi symbolism”.

The student was arrested the previous day when a police officer discovered the network name in the university’s student accommodation quarters. The student’s room was searched and his Wi-Fi router seized.


Pro-Kremlin outlets, some online blogs, and Forbes magazine are pushing unconfirmed — and probably false — claims that Russia has destroyed a US-made Patriot air defense system for the first time.

Social media accounts are circulating a video which supposedly shows a strike by a Russian Iskander ballister missiles on two launchers for the Patriot. They declare that the system was supplied by Germany to Ukraine.

But Russia’s Defense Ministry has pulled back parts of the allegations. The Ministry said an Iskander missile was used, but the video is of a Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system — not the Patriot.

Unsurprisingly, the original, suspect claims have been magnified by outlets such as the Iran semi-official agency Mehr and by al-Mayadeen, the channel of Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Perhaps more surprisingly, they are being promoted and exaggerated by Forbes, in a report based on one and only one source: a social media account, “War Vehicle Tracker”, with the video.

ORIGINAL ENTRY: Ukraine’s air defenses downed 35 of 39 Iran-type attack drones fired by Russia overnight.

The Ukraine Air Force said the Shahed-type UAVs were launched from Cape Chauda in Russian-occupied Crimea, and from Primorsko-Akhtarsk in the Krasnodar region in southwest Russia.

The drones were intercepted over the Kirovohrad, Mykolaiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Cherkasy, Odesa, Kherson, Khmelnytskyi, Vinnytsia, Kyiv, and Zhytomyr regions.

Russia also fired four S-300 surface-to-air guided missiles. The Ukraine Air Force did not give information about any interception or detonation on the ground.