Pope condemns ‘relentless’ bombing of Ukrainian cities

'relentless' bombing of Ukrainian cities

Pope Francis has condemned Russia’s “relentless bombing” of Ukrainian cities, saying the attacks had unleashed a “hurricane of violence” on residents.

Speaking to a large crowd at his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square, Francis also appealed to “those who have the fate of the war in their hands” to stop.

“My heart is always with the Ukrainian people, especially the residents of the places that have been hit by relentless bombings,” Francis said.

“May (God’s) spirit transform the hearts of those who have the fate of the war in their hands, so that the hurricane of violence stops and peaceful coexistence in justice can be rebuilt.”

Earlier this week, at least 26 people were killed when Ukraine was struck by the heaviest bombardment since the war began in February.

Russian missile strikes hit multiple locations in the centre of the capital, Kyiv, and also Lviv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, and other cities, claiming several lives and causing numerous casualties.

Meanwhile, in Amsterdam, International Mobile Justice teams prosecutors are investigating the ongoing Russian missile strikes on Kyiv and other cities to determine if they are war crimes.

When asked if the attacks could be considered war crimes, the Vatican’s number two, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said he was not qualified to make such a technical, juridical judgment.

“But certainly, they are unacceptable acts that cry out vengeance before God and before humanity because bombing unarmed civilians is beyond any logic. It is to be totally condemned,” Parolin said.

Russia denies targeting civilians in its military operation in Ukraine. It has accused the West of escalating and prolonging the conflict by supporting Kyiv.

Francis directly called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the “spiral of violence and death”, saying the crisis was risking uncontrollable global consequences.



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