End ‘spiral of violence and death’, Pope urges Putin

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End ‘spiral of violence and death’, Pope urges Putin

Pope Francis on Sunday (October 2) made a direct appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the first time and urged him to stop the “spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine. The pope said that Ukraine crisis was fuelling the risk of nuclear escalation that would have global consequences.

Pope Francis made an address in St Peter’s Square. The address was dedicated to Ukraine. The pope condemned Putin’s annexation of parts of Ukraine. He said it was against international law.

One Vatican official said the impassioned address was so sombre it was reminiscent of a radio peace appeal by Pope John XXIII in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

This was the first time that Pope Francis made such a direct, personal appeal to Putin.

Saying he was haunted by “rivers of blood and tears that have been spilled in these months,” Francis also called on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to be open to any “serious peace proposal”.

Pope said he was making an urgent appeal “in the name of God” for an ennd to Ukraine conflict. 

“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.

Francis later tweeted both the appeals to the two leaders in Russian and Ukrainian.

(With inputs from agencies)

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