The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, has denounced that Pope Francis’ words about Chechens and Buryats demonstrate not only his “Russophobia” but also a “shocking perversion of the truth.”
“This is no longer Russophobia, but a perversion. Remember that in the 1990s and early 2000s they told us exactly the opposite: that they are Russians, Slavs (those) who were torturing the peoples of the Caucasus, and now we are told that it is the peoples of the Caucasus who are torturing the Russians,” he said, according to the TASS news agency.
Zajarova was referring to the Pope’s words in which he assured that the “cruelest” in the context of the war are the “Chechens and the Buryats”, referring to those who live in Russia but do not have a Russian tradition.
“It is not necessary for me to put the first and last name. Why did I not name (the president, Vladimir) Putin? Because it was not necessary, it was already known. Everyone knows what my position is, with Putin or without Putin, without naming him “, Pope Francis said.
The Pope also explained that he has spoken three times by phone with the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski: “I thought about traveling, but I made the decision: if I travel, I go to Moscow and kyiv, both, not to one place”.