Pope Francis criticizes Putin over Russia's "savage" war
Pope Francis on Saturday implicitly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching a "savage" war in Ukraine in his sharpest rebuke of the Russian president yet, AP reports.
Driving the news: "We had thought that invasions of other countries, savage street fighting and atomic threats were grim memories of a distant past,” the Pope told Maltese officials on the Mediterranean island nation during a weekend visit.
- Francis also said that the possibility of a visit to Kyiv "is on the table," but a trip has not yet been scheduled.
The big picture: Francis has previously condemned Russia's invasion on Ukraine, saying the "unacceptable armed aggression" and "massacre" must stop, but he has avoided referring to Russia or Putin by name, AP notes.
- He also had previously only referred to Russia directly in prayers, Reuters notes.
- But on Saturday he inched closer to blaming Putin for the war.
- "Once again, some potentate, sadly caught up in anachronistic claims of nationalist interests, is provoking and fomenting conflicts, whereas ordinary people sense the need to build a future that, will either be shared, or not be at all," he said.