Pope Francis asks Putin to stop 'the spiral of violence' | Video
The dad Francisco he begged for the first time directly to the Russian president Vladimir Putin to stop the "spiral of violence and death” in Ukraine, saying on Sunday that the crisis risked a nuclear escalation with uncontrollable global consequences.
In a speech dedicated to Ukraine and delivered before thousands of people in Saint Peter's Square, Francis also condemned the latest annexation of Ukrainian territory by Putin, considering it contrary to international law. He urged Putin to think of his own people in the event of an escalation.
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A Vatican official said the impassioned speech was so somber it was reminiscent of a radio peace appeal from the dad Juan XXIII in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis.
It was the first time Francis, who has often condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the death and destruction it has caused, made such a direct personal appeal to Putin.
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Stating that he was tormented by "the rivers of blood and tears that have been spilled in these months," Francis also asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to be open to any "serious peace proposal."
He made an urgent appeal "in the name of God" for an end to the conflict and said it is "absurd"Let the world risk a nuclear conflict.
"My appeal is addressed above all to the President of the Russian Federation, begging him to stop this spiral of violence and death, even out of love for his own people," Francis said.
"On the other hand, hurt by the enormous suffering of the Ukrainian population after the aggression suffered, I address an equally hopeful appeal to the President of Ukraine to open up to a serious peace proposal," he added.
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