| 2 December 2022, Friday |

Pope begs Putin to end ‘spiral of violence and death’, cites nuclear threat

On Sunday, Pope Francis issued an emotional plea to Russian President Vladimir Putin to end “this spiral of murder and death” in Ukraine, warning that the crisis was threatening a nuclear escalation with unmanageable global ramifications.

In his talk to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, Francis also urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to be open to any “real peace initiative.”

Francis said he was making an urgent appeal “in the name of God” for an end to the conflict and said it was “absurd” that the world was risking a nuclear conflict.

Speaking two days after Putin proclaimed the annexation of nearly a fifth of Ukraine and placed the regions under Russia’s nuclear umbrella, Francis also defended all countries’ right to “sovereign and territorial integrity”.

“My appeal goes above all to the president of the Russian Federation, begging him to stop this spiral of violence and death, even out of love for his own people,” Francis said.

“On the other side, pained by the enormous suffering of the Ukrainian population following the aggression it suffered, I address an equally hopeful appeal to the president of Ukraine to be open to a serious peace proposal,” he said.

Kyiv and its Western allies have condemned Putin’s annexations as illegal, and Zelenskiy has said his forces will continue their fight to recapture all Ukrainian territory occupied by Russian forces.

  • Reuters