Vatican, 27 April, 2023 / 12:12 pm (ACI Africa).
Ukraine’s prime minister told journalists Thursday that he has asked Pope Francis for help getting back children forcibly deported to Russia.
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal met Pope Francis in a private, 30-minute encounter at the Vatican on the morning of April 27.
According to the Associated Press, Shmyhal later briefed reporters on the papal meeting, sharing that he had asked the pope for his help retrieving the abducted children. He said he also invited Francis to visit Ukraine.
“I asked His Holiness to help us return home Ukrainians, Ukrainian children who are detained, arrested, and criminally deported to Russia,” Shmyhal said, according to AP.
Reuters reported that the Ukrainian government estimates that almost 19,500 children have been taken to Russia or Russian-occupied Crimea since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year.