Pope Francis says Ukraine is being ‘martyred’ as he condemns ‘savagery, monstrosities and torture’
- Pope tells general audience about ‘tortured bodies’ found in Ukraine
- Cardinal Konrad Krajewski had to dodge gunfire during a humanitarian mission
- Krajewski prayed in Izyum where Ukrainian mass graves were discovered
Pope Francis has said Ukraine is being “martyred” as he slams Russia’s “monstrosity” in Putin’s barbaric war.
Speaking at the end of his general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Francis revealed that his charity leader who brings aid to Ukraine had to run and take cover after being shot at. last week.
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who is Polish, was forced to dodge bullets on his fourth humanitarian and pastoral mission to Ukraine, sending supplies along with a Catholic bishop, a Protestant bishop and a Ukrainian soldier.
Pope Francis says Ukraine is being ‘martyred’ as he slams Russia’s ‘monstrosity’ in Putin’s barbaric war
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski (pictured), who is Polish, was forced to dodge bullets during his fourth humanitarian and pastoral mission to Ukraine
The pope said he spoke yesterday with Krajewski, who had visited Ukrainian mass graves outside Izium in northeastern Ukraine.
Francis said today: “He (Krajewski) told me about the pain of these people, the savage acts, the monstrosity, the tortured bodies that they find.
“Let us unite with this noble and martyred people.
Ukrainian officials said they found hundreds of bodies, some with their hands tied behind their backs, buried in territory recaptured from Russian forces, in what President Volodymyr Zelensky called evidence of war crimes.
Russia has consistently denied that its troops have committed war crimes since its troops invaded Ukraine in February.
Ukrainian workers check bodies found in graves in Izium, Kharkiv region
Destroyed houses and cars are seen, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in the town of Izium
On Monday, the Kremlin dismissed allegations of such abuses in the Kharkiv region, where Izium is located, as a “lie”.
Of the 111 civilian bodies exhumed on Wednesday, four showed signs of torture, Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the investigative police in the Kharkiv region, told Reuters at the cemetery.
The pope was criticized during the war for not explicitly criticizing Russia and suggesting that the Kremlin invasion had been “somehow provoked”.
But his comments today come as Putin has dramatically escalated the war, ordering partial mobilization and threatening to use nuclear weapons.
Russia will also carry out a partial military mobilization, Putin said, with veterans and reservists with combat or service experience called up (pictured, Russian marines in training)
He pledged to use “all means” to defend the regions, saying: “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will use all available means to protect Russia and our people – this is not a bluff… I will underline – by all means at our disposal.
“Those who try to blackmail us with nuclear weapons should know that it can backfire.”
Putin’s gamble comes after Ukraine routed much of Russia’s military last week, leaving him backed into a corner of his own making and facing the possible collapse of his so-called ‘operation’. special military”.
But rather than back down, the Russian leader has instead chosen to redouble his efforts and hold the free world to ransom – putting Russia and its massive nuclear arsenal on a direct collision course with Ukraine and its allies, who have already sworn not to accept the results of “fictitious” referendums or to stop liberating the occupied territories.