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On Wednesday, Pope Francis asked Russia to refrain from causing a “nuclear tragedy” at the Ukrainian nuclear power facility Zaporizhzhia.

On Wednesday, Ukraine will celebrate its traditional Independence Day and six months since Russia’s invasion began. Since the beginning of the conflict, Russia has controlled the Zaporizhzhia facility, and experts have cautioned that doing so might result in a “Chernobyl on steroids.”

The Pope received criticism from Ukrainian authorities for another section of his address when he referred to Daria Dugina, 29, who was murdered in a vehicle explosion in Moscow on Saturday, as an innocent victim. Dugina was died at the age of 29.

Francis Wednesday said, “Innocents pay for war,” going on to mention “the unfortunate child flung in the air by a bomb beneath a vehicle in Moscow.

Alexander Dugin, a prominent philosopher and close supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin who fiercely promoted the conflict in Ukraine, was the father of Dugina.

As Ukraine’s Independence Day approaches, the US warns Russia that civil unrest may increase.

Ukraine is not to blame for the assault, the Russian FSB has said, according to Ukrainian authorities. The envoy of Ukraine to the Vatican, Andrii Yurash, described Pope Francis’ remarks as “disappointing” on Twitter.

Yurash commented, labeling Dugina a “ideologist of imperialism” and asserting that “she was slain by Russians,” “Today’s address from the Pope was unsatisfactory.”

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He said, “Can’t talk about aggressor and victim, rapist and raped, in same category.


In her work as a TV pundit, Dugina has expressed many of the same Russian nationalist views as her father.

On January 6, 2022, in Vatican City, Pope Francis delivers his homily at Mass on the Solemnity of the Epiphany in St. Peter’s Basilica. (Getty Images/AleVatican Pool)

On May 1, 2022, a Russian serviceman patrols the area near the second reactor of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Energodar. (BORODULIN, ANDREY/AFP via Getty Images) (Image courtesy of Andre Bolodin/AFP via Getty Images