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6 April, 03:10 PM

Pope condemns "Bucha massacre," kisses Ukrainian flag

Pope Francis has condemned "the massacre of Bucha" and kissed a Ukrainian flag sent from the liberated town, the Reuters news agency reported on April 6.

On April 2, 2022, Anatoliy Fedoruk, the mayor of the town of Bucha in Kyiv Oblast, announced that the Ukrainian military had found the bodies of 280 residents in mass graves after the town was liberated from Russian invaders on March 31.

He added that the streets were "littered with bodies."

"Recent news from the war in Ukraine, instead of bringing relief and hope, brought new atrocities, such as the massacre of Bucha," Francis said on April 6 at the end of his weekly audience in the Vatican's auditorium.

"Stop this war! Let the weapons fall silent! Stop sowing death and destruction," he said, decrying cruelty against civilians, defenseless women and children.

Francis also said the darkened and stained flag, which had writing and symbols on it, was brought to him from Bucha on April 5.

He asked a group of children war evacuees who arrived on Tuesday from Ukraine to come up to him.

"These children had to flee in order to arrive in a safe land,” the Catholic leader said.

:This is the fruit of war. Let's not forget them and let's not forget the Ukrainian people,"

Earlier, Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the chief-of-staff of the Office of the President of Ukraine, posted on Twitter the footage of the bodies of men and women who had been killed with their hands tied behind their backs.

According to other photos posted on social networks, civilians were also tortured and killed in the town of Irpin and along the Zhytomyr highway.

According to the latest data, Russian troops have killed at least 340 people in Bucha.

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said that 410 bodies of killed civilians had already been removed from the territory of Kyiv Oblast that has been liberated from Russian invaders.

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