‘We need peace’: On Ukraine’s Independence Day, Pope appeals for peace; warns of potential ‘nuclear disaster’

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Last Updated on 3 months by Mukesh

August 24 is the day when Ukraine marks its independence from Soviet rule in 1991, but this year it coincides with six months of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. 

On the same day, Pope Francis renewed calls for peace “for the beloved Ukrainian people”. He also warned of a potential “nuclear disaster” at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. 

At the beginning of his address, Pope said, ”I renew my invitation to implore the Lord for peace for the beloved Ukrainian people, who have been suffering the horror of war for six months.” 

He further added, “I hope that concrete steps will be taken to bring an end to the war and to avert the risk of a nuclear disaster at Zaporizhzhia.” 

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Of Late, the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia plant has been at the centre of the Russia-Ukraine war as both sides have accused each other of firing at the facility. The recent claims of firing raised fears of nuclear disaster.

Zaporizhzhia is the largest of its kind in Europe. The Russian forces took over soon after the February 24 invasion. The United Nations has called for the area to be demilitarised.

At his weekly general audience, Pope Francis condemned wars as “madness”. 

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He also referred to the death of Darya Dugina, daughter of a prominent Russian ultra-nationalist, in a car bombing near Moscow on Saturday. He said, “guiltlesss pay for war, innocents.”

The pope said, “Those who profit from war and the arms trade are criminals who kill humanity.” 

He also denounced long-standing military conflicts in Syria, Yemen, and Myanmar.

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