"I make my own the heartbreaking grief of the family members," Pope says in mourning the 6 children killed in Saturday's missile strike
As he does in all of his public audiences, Pope Francis appealed for peace in Ukraine again this January 18.
And let us not forget to pray for the tormented Ukraine, so much in need of closeness, comfort and above all peace. Last Saturday a new missile attack claimed many civilian victims, including children. I make my own the heartbreaking grief of the family members. The images and testimonies of this tragic episode are a strong appeal to all consciences. One cannot remain indifferent!
The Pope was referring to the deadliest civilian attack in many months, with 45 victims, including 6 children, being killed in an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro.
In addition to the war-related casualties, Ukraine was hit by another tragedy on the morning of January 18, when Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky’s helicopter crashed near a children’s hospital in the Kiev metropolitan area.
According to the BBC, 18 people died, including the minister, the deputy minister, and the state secretary of the interior, as well as two children. The governor of Kiev also reported that 22 people were injured, including 10 children.
The interior minister, who headed the Ukrainian police and several rescue services, is the highest ranking Ukrainian figure to die since the Russian offensive began in February 2022. The authorities are not ruling out any possibility, from a simple technical accident to an attack linked to the ongoing fighting, which is not, however, near the crash area.