Pope Francis ‘Expressed His Deepest Sorrow for the Tragic Events’ in Phone Call to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy

According to the Ukrainian Embassy to the Holy See, and confirmed by the Vatican Press Office, there was a telephone conversation between the Holy Father and Zelenskyy on Feb. 26.

Pope Francis attends his general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Feb. 9.
Pope Francis attends his general audience in the Paul VI Hall at the Vatican on Feb. 9. (photo: National Catholic Register / Vatican Media)

Pope Francis on Saturday expressed his sorrow about the situation in Ukraine in a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

According to the Ukrainian Embassy to the Holy See, Pope Francis had a conversation with Zelenskyy by phone on Feb. 26.

“The Holy Father expressed his deepest sorrow for the tragic events taking place in our country,” the embassy wrote on Twitter.

On his own Twitter account, Zelenskyy wrote that he “thanked Pope Francis @Pontifex for praying for peace in Ukraine and a ceasefire. The Ukrainian people feel the spiritual support of His Holiness.”

The Vatican Press Office confirmed on Saturday that there was a telephone call between Pope Francis and Zelenskyy.

Zelenskyy is in Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, after he refused an  offer by the United States to be evacuated. 

According to a U.S.  intelligence official, Zelenskyy said: “The fight is here; I need  ammunition, not a ride.”

Saturday marked the third day of fighting in Ukraine, after Russian  military invaded the country in the early morning of Feb. 24.

The death toll among both military and civilians continues to rise.  

Swaths of Ukrainians are fleeing from the eastern part of the country to  the west or to neighboring Poland. People in the cities of Kyiv and  Lviv have been forced to seek safety in shelters or subway stations. Street fighting broke out in Kyiv on Saturday as Russian troops advanced toward the capital.      

The Associated Press reported that, in a video recorded in downtown Kyiv on Feb. 26, Zelenskyy said, “we  aren’t going to lay down weapons. We will protect the country. Our weapon is our truth, and our truth is that it’s our land, our country,  our children. And we will defend all of that.” 


An apartment building stands damaged after a Russian attack in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

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