Russia's war in Ukraine is 'unacceptable' - Pope

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The Pope has called Russia's invasion of Ukraine "unacceptable".

In comments to a group of Jesuits, Pope Francis also described it as "repugnant, senseless aggression, barbaric" and "sacrilegious", according to the National Catholic Reporter.

He said that the "victim" of the conflict was Ukraine but he also said it was important "to investigate the dynamics that developed the conflict" and steer away from simplistic interpretations. 

"There is a war underway, and I think it's wrong to think of it like a cowboy movie where there are good guys and bad guys. And it's wrong to think that this is a war between Russia and Ukraine and that's it. No. This is a world war," he said.

Commenting further, the Pope claimed that "international factors" had "helped provoke the war". 

He quoted the concerns of an anonymous head of state who apparently told him last December that "NATO had gone barking at the doors of Russia without understanding that the Russians are imperial and fear insecurity on their borders". 

The Pope added, "When they feel threatened and in decay, imperialists react by thinking that the solution is to wage a war to remake themselves — and also to sell and test weapons." 

The meeting with the Jesuit priests took place during the Pope's recent trip to Kazakhstan.

The priests came from across Russia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.