Pope Francis: “Russia has invaded”. Moscow: “Perversion”

The Pontiff: “Why don’t I name Putin? I don’t need to name and surname, it is known who I am condemning”

“Of course, the invader is the Russian state. Why don’t I name Putin? Because it’s not necessary; it’s already known. However, sometimes people get attached to a detail. Everyone knows my position, with Putin or without Putin, without naming him This was underlined by Pope Francis in an interview with America magazine on the subject of the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Bergoglio then recalled that he “spoke with President Zelensky three times by telephone. And I generally work with receiving lists of prisoners, both civilian prisoners and military prisoners, and I have them sent to the Russian government, and the response has always been very positive”. Francis then clearly says that if he goes, he will go to both Moscow and Kiev: “I have also thought about travelling, but I have made the decision: if I travel, I will go to Moscow and Kiev, both, not just one place. And I have not never gave the impression of covering up the aggression. I have received here in this hall, three or four times, a delegation from the Ukrainian government. And we work together”.

“When I talk about Ukraine, – he reiterated – I am talking about a martyred people. If you have a martyred people, you have someone who martyrs them. When I talk about Ukraine, I am talking about cruelty because I have a lot of information about the cruelty of the troops entering. In kind, the cruellest are perhaps those who are from Russia but are not from the Russian tradition, such as Chechens, Buryats and so on. Of course, the one who invades is the Russian state. This is very clear. Sometimes I try not to specify for not to offend and rather to condemn in general, even if it is known who I am condemning. It is not necessary that I put my name and surname”.

The Pontiff recalled once again that “On the second day of the war I went to the Russian embassy (at the Holy See, ed), an unusual gesture because the pope never goes to an embassy. And there I told the ambassador to tell Putin that I was willing to travel on the condition that he would give me a small window to negotiate. Lavrov, the high-level foreign minister, replied with a very nice letter from which I understood that it was not necessary for the moment”.

FLY – For the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, the Pope’s words about Chechens and Buryats are an outrageous perversion of the truth as well as a demonstration of Russophobia. “This is no longer Russophobia, but a perversion, I don’t even know to what degree. In the nineties and early 2000s, we were told exactly the opposite, that Russians, Slavs torture the peoples of the Caucasus, and now we they are told that it is the peoples of the Caucasus who are torturing the Russians. They must be perverts of the truth,” Zakharova said, according to Russian news agency Tass.