| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Pope says Ukraine subjected to monstrosities

Pope Francis remarked that Ukrainians were being subjected to savagery, monstrosities, and torture, describing them as a “noble” people who were being sacrificed.

At the end of his public audience in St. Peter’s Square, Francis informed the gathering of a chat he had on Tuesday with Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, his charity leader who is providing relief to Ukraine.

Vatican media said Krajewski, who is Polish, had to run and take cover after coming under light gunfire last week while delivering aid with Catholic bishop, a Protestant bishop, and a Ukrainian soldier. It said he also visited mass graves outside Izium, in northeast Ukraine.

“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,” he said.

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 Zelenskiy 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.

  • Reuters