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Poll: Most Ukrainians dislike, ignore Pope Francis' stance on war

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 13, 2023 6:07 PM 2 min read
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A Razumkov Center’s survey published by the ZN.UA media outlet on May 13 showed that only 9.2 percent of Ukrainians support the initiative to bring Ukraine and Russia to peace “at any cost.”

The poll attributed the iniative to Pope Francis, although he hasn't actually said that peace should come "at any cost."

However, the Pope said on April 30 that the Vatican is involved in a non-public peacemaking mission to try to end Russia’s war against Ukraine, without providing any details.

“I am willing to do everything that has to be done. There is a mission in course now, but it is not yet public,” the Pope told reporters on April 30, as quoted by the Guardian.

The poll showed that most Ukrainians either disagree with the Pope's stance on the war, or find it irrelevant, or don't know about it.

The poll came out on the day when President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Rome, and was scheduled to meet with the Pope, among others.

A third of the polled Ukrainians, 36.2 percent, “don't know anything” about Pope Francis’ position on the war in Ukraine.

Almost 24 percent of the polled Ukrainians are “offended” by the fact that the Pope’s “believes Russians are the same victims of the war as Ukrainians are,” while 14.1 percent do not consider Pope Francis' remarks about Ukraine as “significant.”

Every 10th Ukrainian answering the poll said that “the Pope works in the interests of the Kremlin.”

Only three percent of the respondents had a positive attitude to the Pope.

Zelensky arrived in Rome on May 13 for a short visit, where he plans to meet Italy's President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and Pope Francis.

Zelensky said in September last year that Ukraine would have no negotiations with Russia until Vladimir Putin’s regime changes. Zelensky presented his own “Peace Formula” two months later.

The 10-point peace plan, which Zelensky introduced at the G20 summit in November 2022, includes the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory, the establishment of a Russian war crimes tribunal, the release of all prisoners and forcibly relocated people, and the prevention of ecocide.

Why Ukraine chooses to negotiate on the battlefield, not at peace talks
When Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky proposed his 10-point peace plan to G20 leaders in Bali on Nov. 15, he had only recently returned from a historic visit to Kherson, the liberation of which marks another great step towards the return of all Russian-occupied territory. Touching on factors…
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