Pope Francis has caused a stir in Ukraine by referring to Darya Dugina, the murdered daughter of a well-known Russian ultranationalist, as an innocent war victim.

In an extremely unusual move, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Vatican criticised the pope, calling the remarks “disappointing.”

‘Innocents pay for war,’ Francis stated previously during his Wednesday general audience, referring to a “poor girl thrown in the air by a bomb under the seat of a car in Moscow.”

The unification of Russian-speaking and other regions into a new Russian empire that would include Ukraine has long been a cause for Alexander Dugin, Darya’s father. Darya Dugina appeared on state television in her own right to express support for Russia’s actions in Ukraine and generally agreed with her father’s viewpoints.

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The ambassador of Ukraine to the Holy See, Andrii Yurash, described the pope’s remarks as “disappointing” in a Tweet.

‘How (is it) possible to mention one of ideologists of (Russian) imperialism as innocent victim? She was killed by Russians,’ he stated.

The war was dubbed “madness” by Francis. He claimed that children from Ukraine and Russia had been murdered and that “being an orphan knows no nationality.”

Yurash wrote on Twitter, ‘Can’t speak in same categories about aggressor and victim, rapist and raped.’

In another section of his speech, Pope Francis urged taking “concrete steps” to end the conflict in Ukraine and reduce the possibility of a nuclear catastrophe at the Zaporizhzhia power plant.

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On Saturday night, Dugina perished in an explosion on a highway close to the community of Bolshiye Vyazyomy outside the capital.

The bombing’s perpetrator was named by the Kremlin as Natalia Shaban-Vovk, a 43-year-old Ukrainian mother and purported spy.

However according to officials in Ukraine and the West, as well as several well-known Russian commentators, the car bomb was most likely carried out by Putin allies after Dugin criticised the Russian leader in a widely read Telegram post.

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In a large television studio in Moscow, where Dugina was a well-known pro-Kremlin broadcaster, hundreds of people attended her funeral yesterday.

Over her heavily guarded coffin, which was encircled by floral garlands and streamers decorated with the national colours of the Russian Federation, hung a massive portrait of Dugina.

 

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