Nearly one month into Moscow’s invasion, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Pope Francis to mediate in his country’s conflict with Russia to help alleviate human suffering.
Zelenskyy stated that he spoke with Pope Francis over the phone and “told His Holiness about the difficult humanitarian situation and the blocking of rescue corridors by Russian troops.”
“The Holy See’s mediating role in ending human suffering would be appreciated,” Zelenskyy wrote on Twitter after the call. Negotiators from Moscow and Kyiv have been holding ongoing talks to end nearly four weeks of fierce fighting, but have yet to announce any progress.
Pope Francis has repeatedly called for an end to the conflict, and while he has condemned the “massacre” in Ukraine, he has avoided naming Russia. Earlier this month, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis met on Ukraine crisis and urged negotiations to continue in order to achieve a “just peace.”
Patriarch Kirill referred to Moscow’s opponents in Ukraine as “evil forces” shortly after the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine last month.
Talked to @Pontifex. Told His Holiness about the difficult humanitarian situation and the blocking of rescue corridors by Russian troops. The mediating role of the Holy See in ending human suffering would be appreciated. Thanked for the prayers for Ukraine and peace. pic.twitter.com/wj4hmrTRGd
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 22, 2022