"Perversion": According to Pope Francis, Lavrov's spokeswoman rages about Putin's "cruelest" troops
Created: 11/29/2022, 2:04 p.m
By: Felix Durach
Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican.
© Grzegorz Galazka/imago-images
Pope Francis has blamed two non-Christian populations in Russia for the atrocities in the Ukraine war.
The Kremlin reacted promptly.
Vatican City - Pope Francis spoke in an interview about the Ukraine war and caused a stir with a statement about the Russian army.
The Kremlin was then angry about the statements made by the "Holy Father" and accused the 85-year-old of Russophobia and perversion.
Ukraine war: Pope Francis on Putin - "Everyone knows my position"
The head of the Catholic Church gave an extensive interview
to the US Jesuit magazine
In the conversation with the journalists, Francis commented on various current topics relevant to the Church.
The questions to the Pope also revolved around the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The 85-year-old was asked why he had previously held back from openly criticizing the Russian regime for the aggression in Ukraine?
“Sometimes I try not to be specific so as not to offend, and tend to judge in general, although it is known who I am condemning.
It is not necessary for me to use a first and last name,” the pope said, apparently referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Francis later added: "Everyone knows my position, with Putin or without Putin, without naming him."
Pope names 'cruelest' groups in Russian army in Ukraine war
In his reply, the 85-year-old then turned to the atrocities in the Ukraine war.
"When I talk about Ukraine, I talk about cruelty because I have a lot of information about the cruelty of the invading troops." belong to the Russian tradition, like the Chechens, the Buryats and so on.
Surely the one intruding is the Russian state.”
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Francis' statements are also explosive because he names two regions in which the majority of the population does not belong to the Christian faith.
The inhabitants of Chechnya are predominantly Muslim, while the Siberian Buryats are predominantly Buddhist and shamanic.
In 2016, the Federal Protection Service of Russia estimated the proportion of Russian Orthodox Christians in the entire country at almost 65 percent.
According to statements about Chechens and Buryats: Kremlin accuses Pope Francis of "perversion".
A reaction from Moscow to the Pope's statements followed promptly.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the comments to the TASS news agency.
"It's not Russophobia anymore, it's a perversion on a level that I can't even name," said the 46-year-old.
Lavrov's spokeswoman Zakharova later added on her Telegram channel: "We are one family with Buryats, Chechens and other representatives of our multinational and multi-sectarian country."
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Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, has strongly condemned Pope Francis' statements.
© Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/imago-images
Pope Francis had recently tried to act as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine in the war.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov thanked the Vatican for the offer, but rejected it, citing the current situation in the Ukraine war.