Pope Francis Visits Ukrainian Children’s Hospital

Story Highlights
  • Dozens dead after shelling of military barracks in south Ukraine.
  • 562 Russian servicemen are now in Ukrainian captivity.
  • Ukraine claims Russia conducted 1,403 airstrikes so far.

Ukraine: As the Russian attack on Ukrainian cities continues, President Zelenskyy said on Saturday that “meaningful negotiations” are the “only chance for Russia to reduce the damage from its own mistakes”. After days of progress, talks between the two nations have hit a roadblock with Russia accusing Ukraine of dragging on peace talks. According to UN estimates, nearly 6.5 million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine since the war began.

Pope Francis paid a visit to some of the Ukrainian children who escaped the Russian invasion and are currently being treated at the Vatican’s pediatric hospital in Rome. The Vatican says the Bambino Gesu hospital is currently tending to 19 Ukrainian refugees, and that overall some 50 have passed through in recent weeks. As per reports, 562 Russian servicemen are now in Ukrainian captivity. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the Swiss government to freeze the bank accounts of all Russian oligarchs.

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry claimed that Russia conducted 1,403 airstrikes, and fired 459 missiles at Ukraine since the start of the invasion. Dozens of soldiers were killed after Russian troops struck a Ukrainian military barracks in the southern city of Mykolaiv. Aid agencies are struggling to reach people trapped in Ukrainian cities ringed by Russian forces, the UN’s World Food Programme said on Saturday.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has ruled out providing military aid to Ukraine but says his country, a NATO ally, will continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as per a report by AP. “Being so close to the conflict, right now I have to say that currently, we will not be able to send military assistance to Ukraine. This will not be possible,” Petkov said Saturday at a news conference in the Bulgarian capital with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

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