Pope Francis has criticized Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for the full-scale invasion of Ukraine without mentioning his name, Vatican News reports.
Speaking at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Malta on April 2, Pope Francis declared that "the dark shadows of war have spread from the east of Europe."
“We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street fighting and atomic threats were grim memories of a distant past... However, the icy winds of war, which bring only death, destruction and hatred in their wake, have swept down powerfully upon the lives of many people and affected us all.”
The pontiff also referred to a "potentate" with "anachronistic claims of nationalist interests, is provoking and fomenting conflicts,” while “ordinary people sense the need to build a future that, will either be shared, or not be at all."
“Now in the night of the war that is fallen upon humanity, let us not allow the dream of peace to fade,” Pope Francis said.
Earlier, Pope Francis told reporters that he did not rule out visiting Kyiv.
On March 22, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with the pontiff about the search for peace for Ukraine, the atrocities of the Russian occupiers, and humanitarian corridors to surrounded cities. He also invited the pope to visit Ukraine.