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Pope blasts Russian ‘cruelty,’ lauds Ukrainian ‘heroism’


ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has blasted the “ferocity and cruelty” of Russian troops in Ukraine while praising the “heroism” and “courage” of Ukrainians to defend their land. Francis made some of his most pointed comments about the war in a meeting with European editors of Jesuit journals last month. Excerpts of the conversation were published Tuesday in Italian dailies La Stampa and Avvenire. Francis also insisted there weren’t “good guys and bad guys” and that Russia was in some ways provoked by NATO’s expansion east.

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