Pope Francis says 'rivers of blood and tears flow from Ukraine'


Pope Francis has said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is ‘not a military operation, but a war’ in his Angelus address to the world.

The head of the Catholic Church led this Sunday’s prayer at the Vatican with the Russian invasion of Ukraine as his point of focus, making calls to stop the war and to allow humanitarian corridors to keep people safe.

In his address, the Pope said: ‘Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine. This is not just a military operation but a war which is sowing death, destruction and misery.’ 

In a prayer said for the first Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis spoke at the Vatican in the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, facing thousands of people, with many holding Ukrainian flags or placards with messages of solidarity with the country under attack.

He said of the conflict: ‘True happiness and freedom do not lie in possessing, but in sharing, not taking advantage of others but in loving them, not in the obsession of power, but in the joy of service.

Pope Francis has said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is 'not a military operation, but a war' in his Angelus address to the world in his Sunday address of St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in Rome

Pope Francis has said that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is ‘not a military operation, but a war’ in his Angelus address to the world in his Sunday address of St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome

Pope Francis spoke at the Vatican in the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter's Square in Vatican City, facing thousands of people, with many holding Ukrainian flags or placards with messages of solidarity with the country under attack (two nuns pictured holding a Ukrainian flag as they pray)

Pope Francis spoke at the Vatican in the Apostolic Palace overlooking St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City, facing thousands of people, with many holding Ukrainian flags or placards with messages of solidarity with the country under attack (two nuns pictured holding a Ukrainian flag as they pray)

In his address, the Pope said: 'Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine. This is not just a military operation but a war which is sowing death, destruction and misery'

In his address, the Pope said: ‘Rivers of blood and tears are flowing in Ukraine. This is not just a military operation but a war which is sowing death, destruction and misery’

He said of the conflict: 'True happiness and freedom do not lie in possessing, but in sharing, not taking advantage of others but in loving them, not in the obsession of power, but in the joy of service' (people listened to Pope Francis in his Angelus address)

He said of the conflict: ‘True happiness and freedom do not lie in possessing, but in sharing, not taking advantage of others but in loving them, not in the obsession of power, but in the joy of service’ (people listened to Pope Francis in his Angelus address)

‘We must be vigilant because they often present themselves under an apparent form of good. In fact, the devil, who is cunning, always uses deception, and [he even knows] how to disguise himself with sacred, apparently religious motives.’

The Pope also noted that there are ‘no compromises with evil’, much like there has been little compromise from President Putin on his devastating actions on Ukraine. 

‘Let us take time for silence and prayer, during which we can stop and look at what is stirring in our hearts…’ he said.

‘Placing ourselves before the Word of God in prayer, so that a positive fight against the evil that enslaves us, a fight for freedom, may take place within us.’

The Pope also noted that there are 'no compromises with evil', much like there has been little compromise from President Putin on his devastating actions on Ukraine

The Pope also noted that there are ‘no compromises with evil’, much like there has been little compromise from President Putin on his devastating actions on Ukraine

His comments are a rebuke to the official Russian narrative being pushed by the Kremlin, which insists its invasion of Ukraine is a 'special military operation' launched to 'demilitarise' Ukraine

His comments are a rebuke to the official Russian narrative being pushed by the Kremlin, which insists its invasion of Ukraine is a ‘special military operation’ launched to ‘demilitarise’ Ukraine

Last week the Pope appealed for an end to the conflict, calling for humanitarian corridors to be opened to allow civilians to flee.

Last week the Pope appealed for an end to the conflict, calling for humanitarian corridors to be opened to allow civilians to flee.

Thousands turned up to Pope Francis' Angelus prayer at the Vatican, and in the address he quoted Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who has been quoting late Cardinal Slipyj, saying that in #Ukraine today, 'there are rivers of blood and tears'

Thousands turned up to Pope Francis’ Angelus prayer at the Vatican, and in the address he quoted Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who has been quoting late Cardinal Slipyj, saying that in #Ukraine today, ‘there are rivers of blood and tears’

His comments are a rebuke to the official Russian narrative being pushed by the Kremlin, which insists its invasion of Ukraine is a ‘special military operation’ launched to ‘demilitarise’ Ukraine.

Last week the Pope appealed for an end to the conflict, calling for humanitarian corridors to be opened to allow civilians to flee. 

Pope Francis also quotes Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, who has been quoting late Cardinal Slipyj, saying that in #Ukraine today, ‘there are rivers of blood and tears.’ 

The Catholic leader also dispatched two cardinals to Ukraine in a highly unusual move, saying that ‘the Holy See is willing to do everything to put itself in service for peace. 

The papal almsgiver, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, a Polish priest, has been dispatched with aid, along with Cardinal Michael Czerny, who is head of the papal office that deals with migration, charity, justice and peace.

Referring to Ukraine as 'that martyred country,' Francis called for a cessation of violence, the establishment of humanitarian corridors and a return to negotiations (pictured: nuns holding up the Ukrainian flag)

Referring to Ukraine as ‘that martyred country,’ Francis called for a cessation of violence, the establishment of humanitarian corridors and a return to negotiations (pictured: nuns holding up the Ukrainian flag)

The sun beamed down on the crowds who stood holding Ukrainian flags in St Peter's Square to listen to Pope Francis' address from the window of his studio at the Vatican in Rome

The sun beamed down on the crowds who stood holding Ukrainian flags in St Peter’s Square to listen to Pope Francis’ address from the window of his studio at the Vatican in Rome

The Mariupol city council announced the evacuation of Ukraine civilians through a corridor on Sunday to let 400,000 people flee from the southeastern city. Similar efforts were made on Saturday before Russian bombing restarted just 45 minutes after a ceasefire was agreed (people stood at St Peter's Square in Rome listening to Pope Francis)

The Mariupol city council announced the evacuation of Ukraine civilians through a corridor on Sunday to let 400,000 people flee from the southeastern city. Similar efforts were made on Saturday before Russian bombing restarted just 45 minutes after a ceasefire was agreed (people stood at St Peter’s Square in Rome listening to Pope Francis)

According to aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) the humanitarian situation in Mariupol, a key target for the Russian invasion forces, is currently 'catastrophic' with no power or water in civilian homes (crowds holding Ukrainian flags at the Vatican, Rome)

According to aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) the humanitarian situation in Mariupol, a key target for the Russian invasion forces, is currently ‘catastrophic’ with no power or water in civilian homes (crowds holding Ukrainian flags at the Vatican, Rome)

As papal almsgiver, who is also known as ‘Don Corrado’, Cardinal Krajewski performs duties on behalf of the Pope to carry out charitable wishes for the poor.

Francis did not say where exactly the cardinals had gone, but said they represented him and all Christian people with the message that ‘war is madness.’

Referring to Ukraine as ‘that martyred country,’ Francis called for a cessation of violence, the establishment of humanitarian corridors and a return to negotiations.   

The humanitarian corridors are a type of demilitarized zone which would allow refugees and aid to be safely transited out of Ukraine as a crisis region.

The Mariupol city council announced the evacuation of Ukraine civilians through a corridor on Sunday to let 400,000 people flee from the southeastern city.

Similar efforts were made on Saturday before Russian bombing restarted just 45 minutes after a ceasefire was agreed. 

The evacuation is set to take place between 12pm and 9pm on Sunday. 

People will be able to use private transport to travel out the city, currently encircled by Russian troops, and will be accompanied by the Red Cross, while deviating from the set route is prohibited.

The city council has said: ‘We ask all drivers leaving the city to facilitate the evacuation of civilians as much as possible – take people with you, fill the transport as much as possible.’

According to aid agency Doctors Without Borders (MSF) the humanitarian situation in Mariupol, a key target for the Russian invasion forces, is currently ‘catastrophic’ with no power or water in civilian homes.

The Catholic leader also dispatched two cardinals to Ukraine in a highly unusual move, saying that 'the Holy See is willing to do everything to put itself in service for peace

The Catholic leader also dispatched two cardinals to Ukraine in a highly unusual move, saying that ‘the Holy See is willing to do everything to put itself in service for peace

The papal almsgiver, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski (pictured), a Polish priest, has been dispatched to Ukraine with aid, along with Cardinal Michael Czerny, who is head of the papal office that deals with migration, charity, justice and peace

The papal almsgiver, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski (pictured), a Polish priest, has been dispatched to Ukraine with aid, along with Cardinal Michael Czerny, who is head of the papal office that deals with migration, charity, justice and peace

Ten days after Russia invaded Ukraine, more than 1.5 million people have fled the former Soviet state, the United Nations said, calling it 'Europe's fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II' (people holding signs in front of Pope Francis at his address in support of Ukraine)

Ten days after Russia invaded Ukraine, more than 1.5 million people have fled the former Soviet state, the United Nations said, calling it ‘Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II’ (people holding signs in front of Pope Francis at his address in support of Ukraine)

They have called for a ‘humanitarian corridor’ to be imposed ‘very quickly’.

If Russian forces succeed in capturing Mariupol which held out against rebel forces in the previous 2014 conflict, they will control Ukraine’s entire Azov Sea coast.

This would give them a landbridge from Russia to Russian-annexed Crimea and an important supply route and port if they decide to push north in a bid to take all of eastern Ukraine.

A safe passage out the nearby city of Volnovakha has also been offered after failed efforts on Saturday.

Ten days after Russia invaded Ukraine, more than 1.5 million people have fled the former Soviet state, the United Nations said, calling it ‘Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since World War II’.  

Ukrainian president Zelensky has warned that Russian forces were preparing to bombard Odessa on the Black Sea coast. 

The Ukrainian military said Sunday it was engaged in “fierce battles” with Russian forces for the control of borders at the southern city of Mykolaiv and the Chernihiv in the north.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed and thousands wounded in the war, now into an 11th day, sending hundreds of thousands of mostly women and children pouring into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Romania or Moldova for refuge (Ukrainian supporters during prayer)

Hundreds of civilians have been killed and thousands wounded in the war, now into an 11th day, sending hundreds of thousands of mostly women and children pouring into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Romania or Moldova for refuge (Ukrainian supporters during prayer)

Putin has equated global sanctions with a declaration of war and has warned that Kyiv is 'putting in question the future of Ukrainian statehood' with its actions (Pope Francis reciting the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio)

Putin has equated global sanctions with a declaration of war and has warned that Kyiv is ‘putting in question the future of Ukrainian statehood’ with its actions (Pope Francis reciting the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio)

‘The main efforts are focused on defending the city of Mariupol,’ it said in a Facebook post, adding an operation by Ukrainian forces was also under way in the eastern part of the Donetsk region. 

Hundreds of civilians have been killed and thousands wounded in the war, now into an 11th day, sending hundreds of thousands of mostly women and children pouring into neighbouring countries such as Poland, Romania or Moldova for refuge.

The economic bill for Russia is lengthening by the day after the West imposed unprecedented sanctions against Russian businesses, banks and billionaires in a bid to choke off the country’s economy.

In the latest efforts to freeze Moscow out of the world economy, US-based card payment giants Visa and Mastercard announced they would suspend operations in Russia, while world leaders vowed further punitive action if Russian President Vladimir Putin failed to change course.

In a sign that sanctions were beginning to bite, the Russian government said Sunday that retailers in Russia will limit sales of essential foodstuff to limit black market speculation.

Putin has equated global sanctions with a declaration of war and has warned that Kyiv is ‘putting in question the future of Ukrainian statehood’ with its actions. 

The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and MailOnline UKRAINE REFUGEE APPEAL

Readers of Mail Newspapers and MailOnline have always shown immense generosity at times of crisis.

Calling upon that human spirit, we are now launching an appeal to raise money for refugees from Ukraine.

For, surely, no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and elderly – fleeing from Russia’s invading armed forces.

As this tally of misery increases over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will require accommodation, schools and medical support.

All donations to the Mail Ukraine Appeal will be distributed to charities and aid organisations providing such essential services.

In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all our readers to give swiftly and generously.

TO MAKE A DONATION ONLINE 

Donate at www.mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate 

To add Gift Aid to a donation – even one already made – complete an online form found here: mymail.co.uk/ukraine

Via bank transfer, please use these details:

Account name: Mail Force Charity

Account number: 48867365

Sort code: 60-00-01

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Make your cheque payable to ‘Mail Force’ and post it to: Mail Newspapers Ukraine Appeal, GFM, 42 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY

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