Since the beginning of the war situation in Ukraine, Pope Francis has strongly condemned the Russian invasion. He recently compared the situation in Ukraine to a death operation conducted by the Nazis in World War II, which killed around two million people, mostly Jews, during the early years of the war. Last month, the Pope has also compared the suffering of Ukraine to the 1930s’ “terrible genocide” when a situation of famine was created in Russia by Josef Stalin. The Pope also described the situation in Ukraine as “martyrdom of aggression.” Russia has described the invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation” that has been conducted to “de-Nazify” Ukraine while Ukraine and its allies perceive it as a means to usurp territory.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
Pope Francis on Wednesday compared the war in Ukraine to a Nazi operation that killed some two million people, mostly Jews, in the first years of World War Two.
Speaking to Polish pilgrims at his weekly general audience, Francis noted that the Catholic University of Lublin, in Poland, had recently commemorated the anniversary of Operation Reinhard.
It was the code name for a secret operation in a part of occupied Poland which the Germans called the “General Government” area, that included territory now in Ukraine.
May the memory of this horrible event arouse intentions and actions of peace in everyone,” he said, specifically mentioning the operation, saying it was one of “extermination.”
He then went off script to add: “And history is repeating itself. We see now what is happening in Ukraine.”
Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation” to “de-Nazify” the country and root out nationalists it considers dangerous. Ukraine and its allies accuse Moscow of an unprovoked war to grab territory from its pro-Western neighbor.
The Pope’s criticism of Russia
Since the invasion began in February, Francis has been increasingly forceful in his condemnation of Russia’s actions.
Last month, he said Ukrainians were suffering a “martyrdom of aggression” and compared the effects of the war on Ukrainians to the “terrible genocide” of the 1930s when Soviet leader Josef Stalin inflicted famine on the country.
Francis has several times offered the Vatican’s mediation to resolve the conflict but his increased criticism of Russia has made this highly unlikely.
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