Pope says 'slaughters and atrocities' committed daily in Ukraine

Pope Francis holds the weekly general audience at the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
Pope Francis holds the weekly general audience at the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican, March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The Pope labelled it as 'a senseless massacre'

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Pope Francis on Sunday called the conflict in Ukraine an unjustified "senseless massacre" and asked leaders to stop "this repugnant war".

"The violent aggression against Ukraine is unfortunately not slowing down," he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for his weekly Sunday address and blessing.

"It is a senseless massacre where every day slaughters and atrocities are being repeated," he said.

It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said Russia's siege of the port city of Mariupol was "a terror that will be remembered for centuries to come", while local authorities said thousands of residents there had been taken by force across the border.

"Over the past week, several thousand Mariupol residents were deported onto the Russian territory," the city council said in a statement on its Telegram channel late on Saturday.