Pope Francis has described the war in Ukraine as a “senseless massacre” as he called on world leaders to put an end to it.
During his weekly Sunday address, Francis shared his concerns over the “repugnant war” which has raged on for three weeks although did not mention Russia by name.
“The violent aggression against Ukraine is unfortunately not slowing down,” he told the thousands in St Peter’s Square.
“It is a senseless massacre where every day slaughters and atrocities are being repeated. There is no justification for this.
“I beg all the players in the international community to truly commit themselves to stopping this repugnant war.”
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The pope also warned against the risk of human trafficking as millions flee Ukraine to safety in surrounding countries.
“Let’s think about these women, these children, who are without work, separated from their husbands. They will be sought by the vultures of society. Please. Let’s protect them.”
Pope Francis on Friday denounced Russia’s “perverse abuse of power” over Ukraine who, he said, were being attacked in their identity, history and tradition, and were defending their land.
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His comments marked a strong assertion of Ukraine’s right to exist as a sovereign state and to defend itself against Russia’s invasion.
The pontiff has been explicit in his objection to Russia’s invasion of the country, previously issuing a plea to Vladmir Putin himself to stop the massacre.
Addressing the crowds in the Vatican City on March 13, he called on the Russian president to stop his “barbaric” attack on Ukraine lest the city be “reduced to cemeteries”.
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