Where does the Pope get his information on Ukraine and Russia? – Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Vatican
Pope Francis (Photo:REUTERS/Remo Casilli)
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the Vatican, Andrii Yurash, told Radio NV how Pope Francis receives information about Russia's war against Ukraine.
One source is Russia’s Ambassador to the Vatican, Alexander Avdeev, Yurash said in his April 13 interview, stressing that the Pope has many other sources as well.
Pope Francis is a strong personality that forms his own world view, he said.
"I had the opportunity to be next to the Pope when he watched a film by the famous Ukrainian-American director [Evgeny] Afineevsky about the atrocities of the Russians in this war," he stated.
“It was almost a two-hour movie that was broadcast here in one of the Vatican halls for the Pope, several cardinals, and other people close to him. The Pope watched the entire two-hour presentation. It was, so to speak, focused. I am grateful to director Afineevsky for this film; it is very emotional. This is yet another source.”
The Pope has many informal contacts in Russia, said Yurash.
"For example, there is a well-known contact, [Leonid] Sevastyanov, a representative of Russia’s Old Believers, who remains a personal friend of the Pope," the diplomat said.
“It is through Sevastyanov that he delivers certain messages to Russia, Sevastyanov voices them and vice versa.
”The Ukrainian Embassy in the Vatican sent more notes verbales in 2022 than in the previous 30 years of diplomatic relations, he pointed out.
"The Pope meets with important Ukrainian church leaders. For example, he recently met with His Beatitude Sviatoslav, with the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches, and with individual figures," said Yurash.
“He also meets with individuals. We know who on the Ukrainian side is in close contact with the Pope. There is something similar on the Russian side.
”The diplomat stressed that Pope Francis is trying to diversify the sources of information.
In his traditional Easter message to the City and the World (Urbi et Orbi) on April 9, the Pope addressed Russians, urging them to seek the truth about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Help the Ukrainian people on their path to peace and shed the light of Easter on the people of Russia," the Pope said.
He also called on the faithful to "take the path of peace and brotherhood."
Since Russia’s Armed Forces launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, the Pope has often referred to Ukrainians as "martyrs" and used words such as aggression and brutality to describe the actions of the Russian military in Ukraine.
At the tenth station of the Way of the Cross procession in Rome on April 7,texts were read out on behalf of a Ukrainian teenager from captured Mariupol who has found refuge in Italy, and a Russian whose brother was killed in the war against Ukraine and whose grandfather and father are missing.
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko called it an attempt to equate the victim and the aggressor.
Nikolenko claims that "reconciliation" can only come after Ukraine’s victory, punishment of all Russian criminals, repentance for the suffering caused, and an apology to Ukrainians.
We’re bringing the voice of Ukraine to the world. Support us with a one-time donation, or become a Patron!
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google News