Pope Francis on Sunday deplored the “rivers of blood and tears” flowing in Ukraine following the Russian invasion and demanded the creation of humanitarian corridors for refugees.
“Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine. It is not merely a military operation but a war which is sowing death, destruction and misery,” the pope told the crowd gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, Rome, many of whom carried Ukranian flags.
Moscow describes the war as a “special military operation”.
The pope said the need for aid to Ukraine was “growing dramatically by the hour” as the number of victims and refugees soared. He issued a “heartfelt appeal for humanitarian corridors to be genuinely secured… for aid to be guaranteed and access facilitated to the besieged areas.”
“I implore that the armed attacks cease and that negotiation — and common sense — prevail. And that international law be respected once again.”
The Argentine pontiff has repeatedly called for an end to the war and has dispatched two cardinals to Ukraine. He thanked people who were taking in Ukrainian refugees, as well as journalists who “put their lives at risk to provide information”, saying their work “enables us to assess the cruelty of a war”.