War in Ukraine may have been ‘provoked’, says Pope Francis

The pontiff also criticized “the ferocity, the cruelty” of Russian troops during the conflict in Eastern Europe.

Pope Francis has claimed that the war in Ukraine may have been “provoked”. The religious leader’s statement was made on May 19, in an interview with a Jesuit magazine. However, the text was only released by the Vatican on Tuesday (June 14, 2022).

“But the danger is that we only see this, which is monstrous, and we don’t see the full drama that is unfolding behind this war, which perhaps was somehow provoked or not prevented.” said the pope.

Without giving details, Pope Francis said he had met with a head of state months before the start of the war in Ukraine. According to the pontiff, this leader – who he did not mention by name – expressed concern about the movement of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

According to the leader of the Catholic Church, the government authority said that the military alliance “andis barking at Russia’s doors. And they don’t understand that the Russians are imperial and don’t allow any foreign power to approach them.”

Despite this, the pontiff also criticized Russia’s role in the conflict in Eastern Europe. The pope stated that he sees “cruelty” in the actions of Russian troops.

“I am simply against reducing complexity to the distinction between good and bad, without thinking about roots and interests, which are very complex. While we see the ferocity, the cruelty of the Russian troops, we must not forget the problems in order to try to solve them.”said the pontiff.

During the interview, Francis mentioned the exhortation he made to Patriarch Kiril, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church. The pontiff told the Orthodox leader “what [eles] they were not state altar boys, [mas] shepherds of the people”.

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