20,000 Russians have been killed in Ukraine since December, according to US estimates
The Vatican is involved in efforts to end the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. This is what Pope Francis said Sunday on the plane that brought him back to Rome from Hungary.
He did not provide further details about the church’s involvement. There’s a mission in the works right now, but it’s not public yet. “As soon as it is made public, I will reveal the details,” the 86-year-old said.
According to Pope Francis, he has discussed the situation in Ukraine with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and with Bishop Hilarion, representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Budapest. “Everyone is interested in how to achieve peace.”
Since the Russian invasion, the Pope has issued almost weekly appeals to restore peace. It is also not the first time that he has offered himself as a mediator between Kiev and Moscow, but so far without success.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal met the pope at the Vatican on Thursday and said he had exchanged views on a peace solution proposed by President Zelensky.
Shmyhal also asked the Pope to help return the missing Ukrainian children. The government estimates that approximately 19,500 children have been illegally brought to Russia. “The Holy See is ready to help because it is the only right thing to do,” said Francis. “We must do everything humanly possible.”
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