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Ukraine crisis: Pope Francis meets Russian ambassador to express 'concern for war'

Vatican City [Vatican]: Pope Francis went to the Russian embassy in Rome on Friday to "express his concern about the war," over Russia-Ukraine tensions. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed the visit. "The Holy See press office confirms that the pope went to the Russian Embassy to the Holy See on Via della Conciliazione, clearly to express his concern about the war. He was there for just over a half-hour," reported Arab News. Francis has called for dialogue to end the conflict and has urged the faithful to set next Wednesday as a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Ukraine. A number of explosions were heard in the capital city of Ukraine as the Russian special military operation entered the second day, local media reported on Friday. On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Ukraine's breakaway regions - Donetsk and Luhansk - as independent entities. Later, Putin ordered special military operations "to protect" the people in the Donbas region. Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia's military operations and imposed sanctions on Moscow.

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