Pope Francis has said that Ukraine is being ‘martyred’ as he slammed Russia’s ‘monstrosity’ in the ongoing war.
Speaking at the end of his general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Francis revealed his charity chief who is delivering aid in Ukraine had to run and take cover after coming under gunfire last week.
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who is Polish, was forced to dodge bullets while on his fourth humanitarian and pastoral mission to Ukraine, sending supplies with a Catholic bishop, a Protestant bishop, and a Ukrainian soldier.
The pope said he spoke with Krajewski yesterday, who had visited mass Ukrainian graves outside Izium, in northeast Ukraine.
Francis said today: ‘He (Krajewski) told me of the pain of these people, the savage acts, the monstrosity, the tortured bodies they find.
‘Let us unite with these people, so noble, and martyred.’
Ukrainian officials have said they have 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 proof of war crimes.
Russia has consistently denied its troops have committed war crimes since its troops invaded Ukraine in February.
On Monday, the Kremlin rejected allegations of such abuses in Kharkiv region, where Izium is located, as a ‘lie’.
Of the 111 civilian bodies exhumed by Wednesday, four showed signs of torture, Serhiy Bolvinov, the head of investigative police in the Kharkiv region, told Reuters at the burial ground.