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Zelensky invited Pope Francis to mediate in the conflict between Kiev and Moscow

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today invited Pope Francis to mediate negotiations between Kiev and Moscow to end the war in Ukraine that began after the Russian invasion on February 24, AFP reported.

“We would appreciate the mediating role of the Holy See in ending human suffering in Ukraine,” Zelensky tweeted after a phone call with the Pope.

Earlier, the Kremlin said that the current negotiations with Kiev are not substantive enough.

The President of Ukraine said that he had informed His Holiness about the difficult humanitarian situation and the blockade of humanitarian corridors by Russian troops, thanking him for his prayers for Ukraine and peace.

Since the beginning of the Russian offensive, which killed thousands of people, including many civilians, Pope Francis has repeatedly called for peace.

During a public prayer on March 16, the Holy Father asked God for forgiveness on behalf of the people who “continue to drink the blood of those killed, torn to pieces by hands.”

Ukraine is a predominantly Orthodox country, but there is a significant Uniate minority in its west. The third largest religion in Ukraine, with an Orthodox rite but within the fold of the Roman Catholic Church, has about 5.5 million followers in the former Soviet republic of 40 million before the war, AFP reported.

According to last year, almost 9% of Ukrainians are Uniates. According to BTA, 58 percent of the country’s citizens are followers of an independent Orthodox Church, and a quarter are affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate.

Pope Francis has unequivocally criticized Russia and called the conflict in Ukraine an unjustifiably senseless massacre, reports Reuters.

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