During an interview with America: The Jesuit Review of Faith & Culture magazine, Pope Francis condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine and called Ukrainian people “martyrs,” who face “cruelty”of Russia troops.
“Generally, the cruelest are perhaps those who are of Russia but are not of the Russian tradition, such as the Chechens, the Buryati and so on. Certainly, the one who invades is the Russian state. This is very clear. Sometimes I try not to specify so as not to offend and rather condemn in general, although it is well known whom I am condemning. It is not necessary that I put a name and surname,” he said.
Pope Francis also explained why he hadn’t directly criticized Russia and its leadership for the war.
“Why do I not name Putin? Because it is not necessary; it is already known. However, sometimes people latch onto a detail. Everyone knows my stance, with Putin or without Putin, without naming him,” he stressed.