In a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Pope Francis expressed his sympathy for "the tragic events" in Ukraine on Saturday afternoon (26 February).
The Ukrainian embassy in Vatican City reported this in a message on Twitter. The tweet said (in Italian): "Today, Pope Francis had a telephone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky. The Holy Father expressed his profound sorrow at the tragic events that are happening in our country."
The Ukrainian President thanks Pope Francis for his prayers for peace and says the Ukrainian people feel the "spiritual support of His Holiness", he said in a Twitter post on Saturday night.
The conversation with the President follows a surprise visit by Pope Francis to the Russian embassy on Friday (25 February), the Vatican press service confirmed. Francis visited the Russian ambassador Alexander Avdeyev and expressed concern about the war in Ukraine, breaking with standard diplomatic protocol.
Aside from saying the visit lasted just over an hour, the Vatican provided no further information nor distributed any video or photographs.