Pope Francis labelled Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine "a crime against God and humanity" in his annual speech to diplomats today.
His remarks came as part of an overview of the world situation which has become informally known as his “state of the world” address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican.
Francis spoke of "the war in Ukraine, with its wake of death and destruction, with its attacks on civil infrastructures that cause lives to be lost not only from gunfire and acts of violence, but also from hunger and freezing cold".
Pope Francis spoke about the war in Ukraine as part of his 'state of the world' speech VATICAN MEDIA
The Ukraine-Russia war has been ongoing since Putin launched his attack in February last year.
Francis quoted from the Vatican constitution saying: "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and humanity which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation".
While referring to the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, the Pope added: "Sadly, today too, the nuclear threat is raised, and the world once more feels fear and anguish."
He repeated his appeal for a total ban on nuclear weapons, saying even their possession for reasons of deterrence is "immoral".
Putin’s war in Ukraine is not expected to end anytime soon despite Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s hopeful and inspiring message to his country.
Last week Ukranian national Mircea Barbu told GB News that there are “no signs of peace” heading in to 2023.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been ongoing since February 2021 STRINGER
He said: “We’ve been having a New Year that was dominated by attacks and drones, but also by an inspiring speech by Volodymyr Zelenskyy who managed to somehow inspire people to withstand the attacks that happened in the last few days.
“We don’t see an immediate end to the conflict.
“Both sides don’t send any signals that there’s room for negotiation at the moment. On one hand what we see from the Ukrainian side is that everyone is united behind President Zelenskyy and everyone wants to see all territorial integrity regained within this conflict.
"We have a huge support from western countries, from the international community, to do so."